The brother of a man being held in federal custody after tweeting threats against President Obama is planning to speak about what he calls "the injustice" of the case.
The suspect, 25-year-old Jarvis Britton of Birmingham, has been charged by federal authorities with making threats against the president's life. Court documents allege that Britton wrote several threatening tweets in June and September of 2012, including one that said, "I'm going to finish this, if they get me, they get me! #ohwell. I think we could get the president with cyanide. #MakeItSlow."
Federal authorities say Britton's tweets gave them probable cause to believe he "knowingly and willfully" threatened to take the President's life. Court documents show that Britton was warned in late June about the seriousness of the issue, but he wasn't arrested until after tweeted another message in September: "Let's kill the president. F.E.A.R."
Jarvis Britton's brother Andre Britton, along with other family members, says he will hold a news conference on the steps of the Hugo L. Black courthouse at 1 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 26. Andre Britton says his brother's tweets should be protected under freedom of speech.
Former Federal Judge John Carroll disagrees and says there are limits to free speech, including threats to harm another person.
"Free speech does not extend to speech that has potential harm to other people. It's never been that way. This isn't a new law," Carroll said. "While we have the greatest free speech in the world there are limits, and this threat area is one."
Jarvis Britton is scheduled to appear in court for a preliminary detention hearing at 2 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 26 at the Hugo L. Black courthouse in downtown Birmingham.
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