An Illinois man is facing jail time after he posted a video on YouTube where he threatened the life of a city hearing officer.
Michael Dixon, 40, took to the video-sharing site to voice his displeasure that his appeal of a $50 parking citation was denied. Dixon posted an 11-minute diatribe that included racist, homophobic and foul language, and he threatened the life of the city hearing officer. In the video, the man who authorities claim is Dixon said, “you better check your car every time you come out,” in reference to a claim he made about affixing explosives to the man’s car.
Needless to say, authorities didn’t take the video lightly.
Ratted On Himself
Some may say that Dixon never intended for anyone related to the case to see the rant on YouTube, but that would be a lie. According to the police report, Dixon sent a letter to the hearing officer that directed him to the online video, effectively linking himself to the crime.
Although Dixon obscured his face in the video, it didn’t take long for authorities for authorities identify the perpetrator. Dixon was arrested at his home on Wednesday on charges of threatening a public officer. He was booked at the Cook County Courthouse on Thursday afternoon and is being held on $150,000 bond.
Attorney Katherine Fahy comments
Sadly, offenses and inappropriate behavior on networking sites such as YouTube, Facebook and Twitter have increased over the past few years. As these social media sites grow in popularity, police investigators are becoming increasingly savvy to them. As a result, more people are being charged with crimes after their alleged offenses end up on these social media sites. Law enforcement agencies and the legal system are taking these digital offenses very serious.
In this case, Dixon is being charged with threatening a public official after he allegedly threatened a city official’s life in a YouTube video speaking out against city-issued parking tickets. In Illinois, threatening a public official is a Class 3 felony for a first offense and Class 2 felony for a second or subsequent offense. Assuming this is Dixon’s first offense for threatening a public official, he is facing a possible sentence of 2-5 years in prison. In addition to a term of imprisonment, felonies are also punishable by a fine of up to $25,000.
In comparison, a $50 parking ticket doesn’t seem so bad.
Related source: Chicago Tribune