At least six New Yorkers have been arrested for making threats against the NYPD since the assassination of two New York police officers in Brooklyn on Saturday, reports the New York Daily News. The department has been investigating at least 40 threats made against police officers in recent days.
The most recent arrest, on Wednesday, was of Elvin Payamps, 38, a Queens resident who was overheard by witnesses discussing killing police officers during a cellphone conversation inside a TD Bank in Queens Village.
Payamps had left the bank by the time police arrived at the scene, but he was spotted getting into a car at the Metro Mall shortly afterwards. Police pulled over Payamps as he was driving and found a bag of marijuana in his car. Investigators later found several weapons, including a pistol, a defaced shotgun and brass knuckles, and a bullet-proof vest in his home.
Payamps was arrested and charged with three counts of weapons possession and marijuana possession.
Jose Maldonado, 26, of Brooklyn was arrested Wednesday for making a terroristic threat after posting a message on Facebook that read, “Might just go out and kill two cops myself!!!” Maldonado admitted in court to making the post but claims he was drunk at the time and didn’t mean it.
Two teenagers were also arrested for making Facebook posts that alluded to killing police officers this week.
Two threats against the 79th and 81st precincts in Brooklyn were confirmed earlier in the week. According to the Sergeants Benevolent Association, the threats came from a confidential informant who said a Baltimore street gang was planning a shootout with the police in those precincts. Two other precincts in Queens received bomb threats on Tuesday.
“Our city will not be intimidated by those spouting hateful, violent messages,” New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said in a statement. “We will protect the men and women who protect us.”
De Blasio also tweeted his appreciation for those helping to protect NYPD on Thursday:
Thank you to the NYPD officers who today arrested a man who threatened to kill cops, and to the good samaritan who provided key information.
— Bill de Blasio (@BilldeBlasio) December 25, 2014
The threats against police officers are occurring after Wenjian Lin and Rafael Ramos were "executed" without warning in a surprise attack while they were sitting in their patrol car in Brooklyn on Saturday. Their murders were allegedly motivated by the police killings of Eric Garner and Michael Brown.