An eighth grader from Emerson Middle School in Michigan has been removed after a disturbing video that has since been circulating on social media captured him threatening to kill Black people while he reportedly held a gun.
According to The Detroit News, the nine-second video initially surfaced in May 2021 and shows the unidentified child holding what appeared to be a BB gun or airsoft gun and declaring, “I am ready for the n——. Gonna kill them now because I want a lawsuit right now mother——” as a Confederate flag hung on a wall behind him.
The student then adds a magazine to the weapon and motions as if to load the gun.
The Livonia Police Department was made aware of the Snapchat clip the day before Christmas Eve, Lt. Charles Lister told the newspaper.
Authorities said they visited the child’s home that same day and retrieved the weapon spotted in the video. Lister added that while the footage is “reprehensible,” it’s unclear if it violates any laws.
“We currently have an open investigation. We are working with Livonia Public Schools,” Lister explained. “At this point, we don’t believe we have anything that rises to the level of criminal activity to submit a warrant request to the prosecutor’s office. We are waiting to see what is going to transpire with the school system.”
The student has since been removed from the school, but it’s unclear by whom or under what terms. School spokesperson Stacy Jenkin wrote in an email, “We can’t indicate the reason for the student not being in school, in terms of suspension, etc. Suffice to say, he is not in school at this time.”
Coverage of the incident seemingly only appeared now after the video resurfaced again at some point this week.
In a recent statement, the director of secondary programs for Livonia Public Schools, Daniel Willenborg, said: “The Livonia police have been involved from the onset of the sharing of this post, and we will continue to follow our investigative procedures and protocols.”
Willenborg added, “Without question, the video is despicable and reprehensible and has caused fear and discomfort among many.”
Last Friday, a letter was sent to families stating that the district had a “responsibility to respond to racism, discriminatory language, and hateful acts toward anyone in our schools.” They said the district would follow “procedures to ensure (the student) is not a threat to others.”
The note also referenced the deadly shooting at Oxford High School in nearby Oxford Township, Michigan. Four students were killed and seven others injured after sophomore Ethan Crumbley brought a semiautomatic handgun to campus.
His parents, Jennifer and James Crumbley, were charged on Dec. 3 with involuntary manslaughter for failing to secure the gun used in the shooting. They were ultimately arrested following a manhunt by the U.S. Marshals.
“We are all too aware of how this video and this student’s actions have only added to our students’ and community’s fears,” the letter said.
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