On Friday, June 26, my friend attended a BLM solidarity ride out/protest. At the protest, they were met with anti-BLM counter-protestors; separated by a wall comprised of officers from the Police Department.
I physically did not attend this protest but shared my support by RETWEETING his tweet.
His tweet was a picture of the cop turning his back and his badge # was NOT VISIBLE. My friend stated that he felt threatened by this cop and attempted to specifically identify this cop via tweeting.
I did not reply, did not say anything against this cop, and had zero clue to who he was. I simply retweeted because I feel that just as with anyone we should hold our officers accountable. The purpose of this tweet was to find out the officers information, to hold him accountable.
Yesterday, I was summoned to court and being charged with a felony, which stays on my record, comes with a sentence, puts my career at risk, takes away my voting rights, and a fine. I am not facing this charge against the cop himself, but instead the whole Police department. The charge is a fourth degree felony.
At first I wanted to go to court without legal advisement, because I never heard of retweeting a tweet being a crime let alone a felony.
In the picture, you can read the original tweet, and you can also see that I’m being charged with a fourth degree felony for what I believe is cyberbullying.
But this charge is not a misdemeanor and is being filed because the cop claimed he felt afraid for his safety.
As a 20 year old that simply retweeted a tweet to help my friend, I am now at risk of giving up my career, serving time, and having a record.
In hopes of having this not work against me and being proven that I’m innocent, I cannot explain the fear I have and the worry I have for me vs a Police Department. I have to hire a lawyer, which starts at three thousand dollars.
I honestly ask my friends and followers to simply share and help by doing so. I understand that we all work for our money, that we can’t always help, but please share so that maybe someone who is able to help will do so.
I want to state that I feel afraid that I may have compromised my whole future based on something that i had believed was exercising my first amendment right. I also want to state that they found my address based on my @, an address I haven’t lived at since 2015.
I feel that not only is my first amendment right being violated but also my 8th, since I’m being charged with a felony for retweeting a tweet. I once again did not reply, threaten, or have information on this cop and just wanted to know his name which is public information.
There are a lot more ways I feel that this is unfair but to make sure that I’m not compromising my case, I cannot speak about it.
Something we all do, tweet and support the movement, is costing me more than money.
I began working during the pandemic again in hopes of paying for my college bill. Everything I’ve earned is now going over to this.
It’s not about the financials. Im upset that an officer claims he feels threatened & cyber bullied over me RETWEETING a tweet asking for his information. I feel that he is taking advantage of him being a cop and is putting me in a place of fear for his advantage. While I search for a lawyer, work, and try to understand the charges, he is able to have full protection through the same department that is charging me
August 26th is my hearing.
August 5th is my tuition bill.
Hiring a lawyer starts now.
THANK YOU TO EVERYONE
THANK YOU FOR READING AND CLICKING AND SHARING. WILL KEEP YOU ALL POSTED
- David Sobiepan
- Chad Brack