A man accused of making online threats that caused the University of Chicago to cancel classes Monday threatened to kill 16 white male students or staff, a number meant to correspond with the fatal police shooting of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald.
Jabari Dean, who has been identified as a University of Illinois at Chicago student, has been charged with transmitting a threat in interstate commerce, the U.S. attorney's office in Chicago said in a statement. The charge carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison.
Authorities said an email address linked to Dean was used to post the threat. A criminal complaint discusses it in detail:
"This is my only warning. At 10 a.m. on Monday morning, I'm going to the campus quad of the University of Chicago. I will be armed with an M-4 carbine and two desert eagles, all fully loaded. I will execute approximately 16 white male students and or staff, which is the same number of time McDonald was killed," wrote the commenter, who posted with the initials "JRD" and a Chicago Bulls logo, according to court records. "I will then die killing any number of white policeman in the process. This is not a joke. I am to do my part and rid the world of white devils. I expect you do the same."
The threat was posted only days after the city released a video of Officer Jason Van Dyke shooting McDonald 16 times.
Dean is a first-year undergraduate student in electrical engineering at the University of Illinois at Chicago, according to The Associated Press. Dean appeared in federal court Monday but didn't enter a plea, and his lawyer declined comment afterward.
The University of Chicago Laboratory Schools, the University libraries, the Quadrangle Club, and other campus facilities were closed on Monday were closed in response to the threat.
A Chicago police officer charged with murder for fatally shooting a black Chicago teenager 16 times posted bond and was released from jail Monday hours after a judge ordered his bail set at $1.5 million.
The school expects to resume normal university operations on Tuesday.
Police said the shooting was in self-defense and that McDonald lunged at the officer with a knife while authorities were investigating car break-ins in a trucking yard.
On Monday, Van Dyke posted bond and was released from jail Monday hours after a judge ordered his bail set at $1.5 million. He has been charged with first-degree murder over the fatal shooting.