T Nation

The Covington Catholic Rorschach Test


We’ve found something to disagree on. They weren’t instigating anyone. They were minding their own business and passing the time when adults started instigating them.

How so? He was chanting. We’d chant at our basketball games. Was he chanting at them? Did he want them to chant with them? How were they supposed to know what to do in that moment?

Even if it was in mockery, is getting up in someone’s face behavior that should be immune from mockery?


Right, and when that starts you have options. I’m perfectly happy to admit, that in that moment, I would have done exactly what they had done. Absolutely no judgement. I even think most of it could use some work, they’re still young.

But a rational me wouldn’t have.

Is there a local basketball game I’m missing from the story? I thought it was a bus ride…

They weren’t. They were supposed to be kids. And as adults we’re allowed to then acknowledge that it wasn’t the best course of action, while also saying it’s in no way bad enough to justify the forthcoming media lashing.

Of course not. I’d have done the same thing. You don’t have to respect people that don’t respect you. At least with my view of it


X 2…


I’m speaking of my experiences doing the same tomahawk motion during basketball games at my school, whose mascot was The Cherokees. That’s a First Nation tribe.


I was being sarcastic. I meant at the place where it would obviously not have the same meaning to be chanting in unison with Cherokees.


So it’s no big deal to be subjected to a nationwide smear campaign based on lies? I think the Covington kids and their parents would probably disagree on with you. I do.

My mother was on national TV twice during the 2016 campaign. The social media comments directed towards her on some of the articles covering it were beyond the pale. Threats of violence and character assassination are a huge deal when it becomes a personal matter. Yet it seems that many just think that’s normal, or something that can and should be easily brushed off. It’s not.

I suppose it’s easy for you to say it’s no big deal when it’s other people are the ones facing threats of violence.


I think it’s a big deal. If it comes to the point, like the Sandy Hook parents, that they’re being forced to move due to repeated doxxing and death threats, I’m 1000% willing to jump on the hate the liberal media train with you.

Is that what’s happening here? Are the kids receiving death threats to their homes? If so I’m totally on board.


Absolutely. They were doxxed as well.

Many of these tweets have since been deleted, but you will see a lot of high-profile people calling for outright violence, including death.


Sanders wouldn’t elaborate on the nature of the threats, other than they were threats of violence against the school and students.


I should clarify. Generic threats on the internet aren’t the same as being sent death threats to your home address through the mail, ala Sandy Hook parents.

Not that it isn’t terrible, but if you give me ANY topic of your choosing, I can find you internet posts of people calling for death about it. I’m actually serious. Challenge accepted.


The prosecutor sounds like their hands will be full. The threats are specific enough to issue warrants and subpoenas.

It’s never okay, but like I said above, people seem to think otherwise. Many people.


They started by pulling some of the many alleged threats from the internet.

Nah they won’t. The historical problem is fear of setting a precedent over these online death threats. Opening the door to agreeing to investigate any online death threat would literally drown the govt in work. I’m not underselling this. It’s also why you virtually never seen prosecution over online threats unless you can prove intent to carry out.

edit: I mean just think about the sheer number of people who were openly calling for the murder of Obama on FACEBOOK. If I scrolled long enough I could screenshot you family member posts that exist today. Imagine opening that can of worms.



Maybe, maybe not. We’ll have to wait and see. I’m no expert on what lengths Kentucky prosecutors are willing to go to in these cases.

On the civil side, I think the case for libel is pretty strong. The threats of violence absolutely tie into why libel is damaging. I doubt they’ll go after anonqx8305 on twitter, but I could see Kathy Griffin or Michael Rappaport being served with court papers, not to mention dozens of news agencies.


This isn’t the first death threat made on the internet. And while Kentucky might not have a lot of it, they’ve had the internet for a while.

Good luck. Same reason lol.


A quick google search would show that plenty of arrests have been made because of threats issued on social media. I’m sure the ratio of arrests vs threats made is quite low, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t criminal behavior that’s impossible to prosecute.



Absolutely. I’m sure the majority of them definitely had intent behind them.

It’s absolutely criminal behavior. It’s just not realistic to police if you let the cat out of the bag like that. You’ve already got the ultimate failback of these people blaming poor media and being in the heat of the moment.

I get you want blood, just don’t get your hopes up (or become extra jaded when it doesn’t happen).


What’s the difference between criminal threatening with intent vs criminal threatening without intent? I don’t think such a legal distinction exists. Can you give an example?

Edit: Or intimidation, as it can sometimes be called.


Have you seen people prosecuted for saying they’re going to kill someone in traffic? I’ve definitely heard it. I think it’s usually related to some kinda “heat of the moment” thing.

When my uncle said he was going to kill Obama to save America from the ISIS member who was destroying it, I didn’t think he was actually going to kill the President. I would assume, since he said it publicly a number of times on an account tied to his name, that neither did the govt.


No offense, but you’re barely an adult youself. Minor’s, children, kids, teenagers, whatever… They’re not adults and standing there staring like an idiot is about the best response I would expect from a young person.


I’m not sure “heat of the moment thing” is what a prosecutor hinges his or her actions on. I read up my state’s code regarding criminal threatening, and “intent” wasn’t mentioned. They will always have their reasons about what gets prosecuted and what doesn’t, but I don’t see any exemption or explanation for what constitutes a threat without intent.

It seems like an impossible thing to determine. It also seems like you don’t know much about this topic. I just linked thousands of cases where online threats were prosecuted, and the ones I read through didn’t seem to focus on intent too much. You either make the threat or you don’t, that’s often fairly clear cut and easy to prove. Intent, not so much. You can’t read minds.

Threats against the president are handled by the Secret Service. I’m sure their criteria for determining credibility and what warrants further investigation or prosecution will differ from a prosecuting attorney representing the people of Kenton County, Kentucky.


I’m happy to enter agree to disagree territory over this.

Okie dokey. Internet’s about to be a terrifying place. Have fun LEOs.

I’d sure hope so.

Have a good one. Fwiw, TLDR for most people. Agree with 2jar on nearly all counts, just not that any legal action will happen or that the kids were choir boys or idiots.