- The Washington Times - Friday, December 6, 2019

A jury in Massachusetts acquitted a man Friday on charges of making an illegal threat after he posted to Twitter offering a $500 bounty to anyone who killed an ICE agent.

Brandon Ziobrowski’s tweets last year were among the vitriol aimed at U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement amid the Trump administration’s get-tough policy on illegal immigration.

“I am broke but I will scrounge and literally give $500 to anyone who kills an ICE agent,” Mr. Ziobrowski told his 448 followers.

“@me seriously,” he went on, saying, “let’s make this work.”

The government took that as a serious threat and brought charges against him. He faced up to five years in prison if convicted, but the jury cleared him.

“It seemed like the right verdict,” he said as he walked out of court, according to the Associated Press. “It’s been a horrible year. I’m glad it’s over.”

His legal team argued the tweet was a joke and was First Amendment free speech.

Earlier last year he’d also said in an online forum that “shooting a cop should get you a medal,” the government said in court documents.

U.S. Attorney Andrew Lelling, whose office brought the case, said they would respect the verdict, though his disappointment showed in his statement.

“In this case, the defendant posted a tweet that, on its face, offered $500 to anyone who killed a federal agent,” he said. “In 2019, over 100 law enforcement officers died in the line of duty. The public needs to know that, regardless of today’s verdict, we will never hesitate to prosecute apparent threats against law enforcement officers.

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