A series of tweets by Black Lives Matter activist Shaun King threatening to baselessly accuse Kenosha, Wisconsin, police officers of shooting Jacob Blake does not violate Twitter’s rules, the platform said on Wednesday.
In the tweet thread, King demanded that the Kenosha Police Department name the officer responsible for shooting Blake, a black man, on Saturday during an attempted arrest. King, who has 1.1 million followers on Twitter, threatened to start accusing police officers at random of shooting Blake until the department revealed the officer.
Twitter said that King’s tweet did not violate the platform’s rules because simply posting a name is not a violation. A slew of other personal information, such as a social security number, bank information, a home address, government-issued IDs, medical records, and other private and identifying information would be forbidden and considered a violation of the platform’s rules, Twitter said.
Twitter did not immediately respond to a follow-up question regarding the possibility of King following through on his threat, and if those tweets baselessly naming police officers would be flagged as potential misinformation.
As The Daily Wire reports:
King sent out the threat on Twitter late Tuesday as the third straight night of violent riots, looting, and destruction rocked the city. Later in the night, two people were killed and one more was injured after shooting broke out among civilians, according to police. King has roughly 1.1 million followers on the platform.
“To the Kenosha Police Department, if you do not name the officer who brutally shot Jacob Blake on Sunday, we will simply begin naming officers from your department who may or may not be him,” King tweeted. “F*** it. Your protection of his identity is unethical. What’s his name?”
King said in a later tweet that one officer apparently wrongly accused of shooting Blake has been taken into protective custody over threats to his life, and presumably similar action would need to be taken to protect the lives of officers baselessly accused by King as the one who shot Blake.
“This is what she says about Kenosha Police Officer Luke Courtier. He’s in protective custody in a hotel because people thought he shot Jacob Blake. POLICE COULD END THIS RIGHT NOW,” King tweeted. “They are deliberately protecting the man who shot Jacob. What’s his name?”
King has a history of making false accusations. In April 2019, King linked Robert Paul Cantrell, who was then being held in jail on robbery charges, to the murder of a 7-year-old black girl, Jazmine Barnes, while calling him a “racist, violent a**hole.” Cantrell later committed suicide in his jail cell after his family received a torrent of hateful messages and death threats allegedly sparked by King’s accusation.