Police: No charges for individuals involved with inappropriate video

Police: No charges for individuals involved with inappropriate video
(Source: WAFF Staff)
(Source: WAFF Staff)

HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) - Huntsville police have released new information regarding the video that circulated on social media on Saturday.

Officials say they became aware of a video that appeared to originate from Snapchat that had been reposted onto Facebook by an uninvolved party. the video showed a man spewing racial slurs and making violent threats. The individuals were riding in a car that appeared to be in a Huntsville apartment complex.

Authorities increased patrols in the neighborhood in the video, which was in the University Park area.

Police identified the main suspect, who was heard making the disturbing comments in the video. He reportedly voluntarily walked into the Arab Police Department Saturday night, saying he received several death threats. It was then determined by police that there was no real or viable threat and that he was not armed.

Police say no charges will be filed in connection to the video.

"If it is a threat against a specific person, then they can take action. But just a group in general, and minorities have dealt with that for as long as we've had minorities, that they are people who don't like them and people are aware of that. But just because someone doesn't like someone else, we can't necessarily arrest them for it. It's stupid, it's ignorant, but it's not against the law," said Tim Gann, chief trial attorney for the Madison County district attorney's office.

When asked if anyone can make a video like this one, threatening a particular community, although not specifically, Gann said, "If it's not specific, that's correct."

"As dumb as it is, it's free speech. You can like or dislike any group that you want to, and you can make those stupid threats, but until you take action or threaten a specific person...then there is nothing that the law can do about it," Gann said.

In recent weeks, there have been people arrested and charged for what some have described as similar behavior. The man waving a gun in Big Spring Park during an immigration rally was charged with menacing. The man who police say reached for his gun in a Limestone County Church was charged with making terroristic threats. In both cases, Gann says they targeted a specific body of people in one space. But Gann says the men behind the camera here technically did not in his observation.

"We deal with ignorance and stupidity all the time, but unfortunately it's not against the law to be stupid," Gann said.

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