Des Plaines Man Accused Of Posting Lynching Meme About Congresswoman
By Emma G. Gallegos in News on Oct 24, 2017 9:40PM
Rep. Frederica Wilson (D-FL) earlier this week (Photo by Joe Skipper/Getty Images)
Via the Miami Herald
The meme, posted by a Des Plaines man named Tom Keevers, has a photo of Rep. Frederica Wilson (D-IL) and it reads, "Need ten good men to help carry out of a lynching. Must have own horse and saddle. Rope will be provided."
The Des Plaines Police opened up a case and turned it over to the FBI, Cmdr. Chris Mierzwa told the Tribune. Special Agent Garrett Croon confirmed that FBI agents “are aware of a social media posting generated in Des Plaines, IL and are in contact with local authorities."
Keevers, 54, says that he and his family are getting death threats because of the post that went viral over the weekend.
He gave a confusing interview to the Tribune, alternately saying that a meme-maker set him up but also that he couldn't remember what he'd said during a Facebook argument:
During a lengthy phone interview Monday, Keevers initially told Chicago Inc. that he had not threatened to lynch Wilson, but that he last week got into a “fast and furious” argument with strangers “that got out of control” on Facebook about Wilson, who he said was “using the death of an American soldier for politics.” Keevers said he deleted the thread because “there was some disgusting language” in it that he didn’t like. Somebody — he doesn’t know who, he said— later made a “meme” to dishonestly suggest he had called for Wilson’s lynching as part of a “thought-out attack,” he said.
He said the alleged lynching threat was “not something that should be said” but described it as “a joke, as I read it.”
“I don’t have 10 horses either,” he said.
“Don’t people get in arguments on Facebook all the time?” he added.
Later, though, Keevers said he “cannot remember” whether he threatened to lynch Wilson and that it was possible someone had taken some of his words “and made them into a meme.”
Keevers then returned to his more definitive statement. “I did not use those words,” he said.
The FBI told the Tribune the post did originate in Des Plaines. Threatening the life of a congress person is a serious charge that carries with it up to a five-year sentence.
Wilson has found herself in the national political spotlight after discussing the contents of a phone call between President Trump and the pregnant widow of Sgt. La David T. Johnson. She says Trump told her that the soldier killed in Niger "knew what he signed up for."