Queens Man Arrested for Facebook Posts After Zimmerman Verdict

Monday, July 22, 2013

George Zimmerman, center, at a bond hearing. (Photo by Gary Green/The Orlando Sentinel-Pool/Getty Images)

George Zimmerman is free after killing Trayvon Martin. But a Queens man is in jail for what he posted on Facebook in response to last week's not guilty verdict.

Like a lot of people, 20-year-old Remel Newson was angry after a Florida jury found neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman not-guilty of murdering unarmed, black teenager Trayvon Martin.

So Newson went on Facebook and allegedly posted a status update saying blacks couldn’t get justice, with the hashtag "killallwhites."

His post also said "let's kill cops nd neighborhood watcher," according to court documents.

At least six of his Facebook friends liked the post. But apparently the New York Police Department didn't.

On July 17, an NYPD officer monitoring Newson's Facebook page saw the post. Hours later, cops arrested Newson for “making a terroristic threat” — a felony. And they searched his room where they found several joints leading to a marijuana possession charge.

Court documents don't show whether the NYPD was only monitoring Newson or broadly searching Facebook looking for posts after the Zimmerman verdict.

The NYPD did not respond to requests for comment and the District Attorney's Office declined an interview request.

Tasha Lloyd, the Legal Aid attorney representing Newson, said her client merely copied and pasted someone else's message.

“He in no way was trying to intimidate anyone or coerce anyone into doing any illegal act,” Lloyd said. "He just was very upset with the Martin verdict.”

She also said a second Facebook post that police alleged to be “terroristic” is just lines from a popular song by rapper Drake.

Newson has two prior convictions including one for felony assault. He was arraigned Friday in Queens County Criminal Court.


More in:

Comments [47]

Jordan from Ohio

Much like a case that was tried in Ohio this man will get off because he has the right to say whatever the hell he wants.What a waste of time and money. And why are they looking at his page? Tax dollars at work I suppose. As for Zimmerman, he killed an unarmed teenager and because of Florida's Messed up laws got away with it.For those who choose to continue to defend what he did, you need to do some serious work on yourselves. Trayvon Martin is dead and will never give his account. If this was your kid would you be so quick to believe his killer? I think not.

Jul. 25 2013 05:38 PM
sharon from philly

no one knows what happened all we know is Zimmerman lived to tell his story and Trayvon did not u guys just are so insensitive and retarted I hope u don't have to go thru what his parents went thru he was a boy who was profiled and had every right to defend himself but yall too biased to see it that way why because it wasn't a little white boy!! get over yourselves and pray your innocent child minding his own business isn't next!!! idiots!!

Jul. 25 2013 12:32 PM
Douglas from NYC

Some people still don't get it that Trayvon Martin was shot while beating George Zimmerman up. If you were in Zimmerman's shoes when your head is being bashed against the concrete curb and your face being pummeled and you have a gun, what would you have done at that moment?

Jul. 25 2013 11:49 AM
killallwhites from rural hinterlands

let5 ki11 c0p5 nd neighborhood watcher

Jul. 24 2013 10:07 PM

I'm so sick of hearing everyone refer to trayvon as a boy. he wasn't a boy. the media wants you to think he was a boy. no no no

Jul. 24 2013 04:13 PM
William from Portland

Well, it's not a matter of Freedom of Speech. In many states, including Maine, there is a law against inciting violence. I believe an injustice was committed acquitting Zimmerman but it is equally wrong inciting violence.

Jul. 24 2013 03:28 PM
RB from ATL

Well, I guess we can cross freedom of speech of the list of freedoms we still have as Americans.

Jul. 24 2013 02:01 PM

it's funny, because zimmerman isn't white.

Jul. 24 2013 01:26 PM
Foreigner from NYC

What's really sad about this story is that no one seems to be outraged at the fact that we are so much under surveillance these days, even FB posts are being sifted through and an American gets arrested for exercising his so called freedom. What the young man put on there is disgusting and there was a time in America where it would be up to FB to moderate its user's comments and police what is being posted on its site...those days are gone, Big Brother took over...welcome to the United Police States of America ladies and gentlemen...that person though should just have been banned from FB for life and have his/her IP addressed banned so that his entire household would be made to suffer and they should be required to write FB to ask for permission to unblock the IP with the agreement they agree to be monitored, by FB not by the government...Free Doom has arrived.

Jul. 24 2013 12:38 PM
lynn green

It's really sad how this nation has become so divided over this awful verdict. I don't think the jury ever weighed the evidence. Juror B37's interview was creepy it was as if she knew GZ calling him George wow! His father is a retired judge, his best friend is a U.S. Marshall and rumor has it O'mara is good friends with juror B37's defense attorney husband hhhmmm I smell a rat

Jul. 24 2013 12:14 PM
PAUL from Sydney

In Australia, Zimmerman would be called a wog or a dago, both terms are derogatory, used to identify non English white people. Racists in Australia would beat Zimmerman up for having darker skin than pure white racists. He should hide or else he will be hung up by a lamppost for being non white.

Jul. 24 2013 05:09 AM
Eddie Brown from New York, NY

No one cares what any of you think and it wouldn't matter even if they did. Now go out and get laid you nerds.

Jul. 23 2013 08:15 PM
Taj from California

@Rhonda from Fox there you go telling a bold faced religious LIE!! Jesus didn't even speak hebrew dumbass he,and Jews during his time spoke aramaic Not Hebrew!!! Because after the Babylonian captivity Jews up until about 500 years after Yashua(Jesus)Aramaic until the Hebrew language was reformed....he said Obama's name STFU

Jul. 23 2013 06:09 PM
Jim Polichak from Long Island

Mr. Lewis, you and WNYC better look out!
You just committed the same crime as News on did by quoting his words. Except you did it a more public forum to a much larger audience.
Ever since September 11th Americans have given up more and more of our rights - and those that we aren't willing to give up are being taken away from us.

Jul. 23 2013 05:24 PM

"If I had a son, he'd be like Remel Newson."
-President Obama

Jul. 23 2013 04:29 PM
Theo from SERBIA


Jul. 23 2013 02:50 PM
b from new york


What is happening to our society?

When did it become FELONY to post your ideas on facebook?

The content of the facebook post is IRRELEVANT. There are openly racist groups who are protected by the Constitution.

How is this arrest legal???

Jul. 23 2013 02:00 PM
Tuollaf from Space

Doesn't make much sense to propagate the killing of white folks considering Zimmerman is Hispanic.

Jul. 23 2013 12:13 PM

His page or our page

Jul. 23 2013 05:42 AM

This like all the other shit surrounding and protecting Zimmerman is Bullshit, but what do you expect when they let killers go all the time except if they are of color

Jul. 23 2013 03:32 AM

EVERY COMMENT , FROM A BLACK UP HERE WAS RACIST AGAINST THE HISPANIC look down sick! Hope you do not get your brains beaten in or if it hapends just let the racist black lyinch you.

Jul. 23 2013 12:10 AM
rhonda from fox

DEAR GOD WHAT HAS THE ANTICHRIST OBAMA DONE go to IS OBAMA THE ANTICHRIST. see small TV, Jesus said his whole name in Hebrew! God Warned us about this, Satian is risibg up his black armys look nat muslims/ blacks illegals gays Abortion liberals all racist unholy people worship Obama Husaine a muslim, destroying USA isreal

Jul. 22 2013 11:51 PM

What Constitution?

Jul. 22 2013 11:48 PM

I don't know how many comment's I saw that Im glad he got off it was only a black kid, or Keep killem and we all should kill a nigger and this is the only person that got in trouble really a black man SMH.... Banned New York too No Florida No New York if you ask me.....

Jul. 22 2013 10:51 PM
J. from Virginia

NYPD had nothing else to do besides racially profiling.

Jul. 22 2013 09:56 PM

NYPD didn't have anything better to do, smh! I bet you any amount of money this prick by passed all the racist threats against blacks. GTFOH with the bullshit. Anything to arrest a black man, smh! Fucking cowards!

Jul. 22 2013 09:07 PM
Manone from N/A

I understand his anger, but he was clearly wrong for his comments. He does nt understand that people including many whites are seriously pissed off at Sanford's prejudicial move. They are will be paying more for what they did as days progress. In the mean time all self defense from an aggressor is ALL in order!

Jul. 22 2013 08:56 PM

Right to Bare Arms any time you want but no Freedom of Speech!!!!! Give me a break!!!! This guy is just trying to stay in the new to gain sympathy for his big fat leaching AZZ!!!!! Who the he!! is monitoring FaceBook for these type threats? Stop using taxpayers money for this garbage!!!!! This guy is using hard earned taxpayers money for protection!!!! Get his sorry whiney weak AZZ out of America's pocket! I am sick of this GROWN azz man acting like a victim!!!! He first has a hero complex now his big fat greasy azz is pretending like he needs to be saved!!!! Makes me want to VOMIT!!!!!

Jul. 22 2013 07:43 PM

IF a person is really going to do something, they don't announce it to the world. It was just all talk but of course, this is just another way to keep that CHILD KILLER IN THE NEWS AND MAKE IT SEEM AS THOUGH HIS BIG FAT LAZY GOOD FOR NOTHING MURDERING BEHIND IS A VICTIM!!!! Makes me sick to my stomach!!!!

Jul. 22 2013 07:37 PM

That charge will never stick because first they have to prove that he was the one that posted the comments and unless they have someone to testify under oath that they actually saw him sitting at a computer typing the comments, they can't prove that he did anything. Second, it's an exercise of the first amendment to free speach. Third it's not within the jurisdiction of state courts because the comments were posted on a computer in California even though it originated in New York so there's no jurisdiction since the alleged comments crossed state lines and would be within federal not state jurisdiction! Case dismissed! With respect to the drug charge, that too should be dismissed because the underlying crime is the fruits of an improper charge over which there's no state court jurisdiction!

Jul. 22 2013 07:35 PM

There are so many hatefilled and harmful threats on the internet towards Black people by whites but they went after this guy?? What about FAtso Zimmerman?? He's a free man for stalking, hunting, preying on then murdering an unarmed young boy but you want to go after this guy for being angry that no punishment has come to the REAL murderer and ruin his life -- terrorist threats?? Give me a fucking break.. GZ is a terrorist.. domestic terrorist and is walking free!! Maybe this guy who was wrongfully arrested can get a "temporary insanity" defense, or stand your ground because as a Black man, who knows if Zimmerfuck would come a knockin' at his door, eh?? I bet it's white cops from NY who did this. Assholes!

Jul. 22 2013 07:17 PM
Mrs. Dee

Well that is a terrorist threat. I am black and I know not to make that kind of comment. I am also older. Boy taxpayers dollars are going down the drain.

Jul. 22 2013 07:17 PM
Gloria from facebook

I can understand about him being upset about the verdict, I was as well, But we all say things in a moment of anger and the Government and Police are no different. It is sad that they have people fearful of speaking what's on their mind for fear of being locked up, I thought this was a free country, But apparently it's not. I will not express my displeasure on this site, But best believe when it comes to my own page I will say exactly how I feel.Thank you for the heads up, I'll take my chances.

Jul. 22 2013 07:14 PM

Where was all the Police when all the Zimmerman supporters threatened some of the Trayvon supporters with death threats, calling our children's schools, making racist comments, stealing our computer accounts. Where was Facebook or Law Enforcement? This is why the laws are ok for some and not ok for others.

Jul. 22 2013 07:13 PM

N.Y.C Cops why don't you get your ass off of facebook and hit NY streets and catch some real terrorist.

Jul. 22 2013 07:11 PM

So it took one day to arrest this man of a supposedly "terrorist threat" but it takes 44 days to arrest a man that took a 17 year old, unarmed kids life.. #gofigure

Jul. 22 2013 07:01 PM
Toua Tee Xiong

This kind of pathetic. We all know that there are angry people out there swearing and saying all these things about Caucasians and African-Americans & other ethnicity/race.

USA = no such thing as freedom of speech :'( Sad huh?

Jul. 22 2013 07:00 PM
Laurie Arnold

@Christine-I invite you to casually search the internet for posts about committing violence against black people. How many of those posters do you think arrested?

Jul. 22 2013 02:06 PM

people say things all the time when they are upset that they don't mean. If there are people watching people's Facebook pages without permission especially when they aren't on their friends list and their page is private , Isn't that invasion of privacy? I say " Stay the hell off people's pages without permission. Facebook is a place where people can post thought, and that's just what they are thoughts put into words, it doesn't mean they are going to put those words into action. the only people who need their pages on any website watched are rapist, and pedophiles, and as far as I am concerned they all need to be castrated. Just saying.

Jul. 22 2013 12:49 PM
asshole from Your mom's asshole

This is bullshit. We are becoming more and more like Nazi Germany, its scary. Im white and yeah his hashtag pisses me off, but in no way was that a "terrorist action". You can basically make anyone a terrorist and arrest them. Fuck that, and fuck you Facebook for helping our tyrannical government.

Jul. 22 2013 11:52 AM
Margot Stone

Everyone who is furious about the verdict [and whether its legally correct or not is not the issue here]should speak up about the state of our justice system but if you think that injustice only happens in high profile cases, go down to your local courthouse, it happens every day. What concerns me more about this incident is that we have elevated police officers to another class of citizen. They can be armed to the teeth and often be indiscriminate with those arms, they are sacred in terms of "hero status" and they wear the blue badge of truth. No one who objects to a killing actually advocates further killing. Can't any authorities engage critical thinking skills anymore???

Jul. 22 2013 11:50 AM
Christine from Westchester

@James: so switch it out and make it about killing blacks. Then would it be okay for police to arrest him? I am all for the right to free speech but I'm not in favor of supporting cop killers and angry mobs reacting violently in response to a jury decision they don't agree with. I am glad they caught him. Enough of this.

Jul. 22 2013 10:36 AM
ROG W from central florida

I guess these morons have no idea of the power of 100 million gun owners (99 %of which are law obiding citizens) get angry at the same time... and what they can do to the felons of the united states.. hell- the jails would be empty.... nobody would dare commit a crime... but the people are just plain stupid because they read newspapers, listen to radios, and watch crapstream tv... you can't fix stupid... people are born stupid... and lastly, most of the crimes are committed in the gun free zones.... lol

Jul. 22 2013 08:25 AM

Not as chilling as someone advocating the killing a race of people? Or cops?

Jul. 22 2013 07:53 AM
Leigh Mueller

I find the idea that someone is "monitoring" this kid's fb page more
chilling than what he posted.

Jul. 22 2013 07:39 AM
James from Boulder

That the US is now a police state where free speech is a right that can only be bought? That's a hard lesson to learn.

Jul. 22 2013 07:37 AM
Robert from Brooklyn

Smart kid! Hopefully he's learning something now.

Jul. 22 2013 05:29 AM

Leave a Comment

Email addresses are required but never displayed.

Get the WNYC Morning Brief in your inbox.
We'll send you our top 5 stories every day, plus breaking news and weather.


Latest Newscast




WNYC is supported by the Charles H. Revson Foundation: Because a great city needs an informed and engaged public


Supported by