Federal authorities say an online threat that led the University of Chicago to cancel classes Monday targeted whites and was motivated by the police shooting of a black teenager. Jabari R. Dean, 21, of Chicago threatened to kill 16 white male students or staff at the school on Chicago's South Side, according to the criminal complaint. Dean, who is black, was arrested Monday morning. In court later in the day, he did not enter a plea on a charge of transmitting a threat in interstate commerce. The threat was posted Saturday, just days after the city released a video of Officer Jason Van Dyke, who is white, shooting 17-year-old Laquan McDonald, who was black, 16 times.
Authorities say Dean posted that he would "execute approximately ... 16 white male students and or staff, which is the same number of time [sic] McDonald was killed" and "will die killing any number of white policemen that I can in the process." The criminal complaint said someone was tipped off to a threat that was posted on a social media website. The FBI was unable to find the threat online and was provided a screenshot by the person who reported the threat. That led them to Dean, a first-year student at the University of Illinois at Chicago, who admitted that he posted the threat and took it down shortly after posting it, the complaint states. A judge ordered Dean be held until Tuesday's bond hearing, when prosecutors will likely agree to let him be released to his mother. (Read more University of Chicago stories.)