KEY POINTS

  • Rashawn Smith was arrested by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation for allegedly making threats on Facebook at Ahmaud Arbery protesters
  • Smith allegedly made a fake Facebook account to post the threats toward the protesters
  • The bureau said Smith is being charged with "Dissemination of Information Relating to Terroristic Acts"

Authorities in Georgia on Sunday arrested a man who allegedly made online threats aimed at people protesting the killing of Ahmaud Arbery.

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation claims that 20-year-old Rashawn Smith created a fake Facebook account to make threats. The GBI did not specify the threats made by Smith.

Friday's protests drew hundreds to Brunswick, the city close to where Arbery was fatally shot on Feb. 23.

“On Sunday, May 10, 2020, the GBI arrested Rashawn Smith, age 20, and charged him with Dissemination of Information Relating to Terroristic Acts,” the bureau said in a statement.

“He was taken into custody in Midway, GA and will be booked into the Liberty County Sheriff’s Office.

“This investigation was conducted with the assistance of the FBI & Liberty County Sheriff’s Office.”

There have been protests throughout Georgia after a video was released Tuesday that showed Arbery shot by Gregory McMichael and his son Travis McMichael. They were arrested Thursday on charges of murder and aggravated assault. Both say they were attempting to conduct a citizen’s arrest because they suspected Arbery was responsible for a series of break-ins in Brunswick.

This has led to a storm of criticism over the handling of the case, with some comparing it to the Trayvon Martin shooting in 2012.

“We’ve been here before, whether it’s Tamir Rice or Trayvon Martin,” Benjamin Crump, lawyer for Arbery’s father Marcus Arbery Sr., told reporters. “When they kill our children, they then try to assassinate their character and I know they’re going to do that with Ahmaud Arbery.”

Atlanta Mayor Keisha Bottoms took it a step further, calling Arbery’s death a modern-day lynching in an appearance on CNN.

It also came out that two district attorneys passed the case along, citing a conflict of interest because of professional history with Gregory McMichael. This has prompted Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr to ask the Department of Justice to launch a probe into the case’s handling.

With around 400 million users, India is Facebook's biggest market
With around 400 million users, India is Facebook's biggest market AFP / LOIC VENANCE
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