James Francis Edwards, one of two Oklahoma teenagers charged with murder in the shooting death of Australian college athlete Christopher Lane, is accused of sending racist messages on Twitter.
According to the Daily Caller, Edward supposedly posted tweets containing "anti-white statements" on his Twitter feed months prior to the death of Lane, whom the teen and a friend allegedly shot out of boredom.
However, Duncan, Okla., police chief Dan Ford told the website that he does not believe Edwards' actions warrant a hate crime charge.
“I don’t think there’d be any further charge,” Ford said. “I’m not discounting the stuff that’s on there, but they do that for shock and effect.”
Here are some of the tweets in question:
90% of white ppl are nasty. #HATE THEM
— jamesakabug (@JAMESAKABUG) April 29, 2013
The following tweet was posted two days after a verdict was reached in the trial of George Zimmerman. Although it contains the derogatory term, "wood," it does not go as far as other infamous social media responses to the Zimmerman verdict.
Ayeee I knocced out 5 woods since Zimmerman court!:) lol shit ima keep sleepin shit! #ayeeee 👊👊👊
— jamesakabug (@JAMESAKABUG) July 15, 2013
According to the Anti-Defamation League website, "in prison slang, a peckerwood or 'wood' was a white inmate who was willing to fight to avoid being raped or robbed."
The teenager also sent a tweet just three days before the Lane shooting in which he alluded to violence:
— jamesakabug (@JAMESAKABUG) July 24, 2013
With my niggas when it's time to start taken life's
— jamesakabug (@JAMESAKABUG) August 13, 2013
A Vine posted by the suspect in which a black teenager takes aim at the camera with a gun has drawn additional scrutiny.
Christopher Lane, 22, was shot dead during a training run Friday in Duncan, Okla., by teens who were "bored" and "decided to kill somebody," police chief Danny Ford told the Associated Press.
Edwards, 15, faces first-degree murder charges along with Chancey Allen Luna, 16. Under Oklahoma law they will be tried as adults. Michael Dewayne Jones, 17, was charged as an accessory to murder after the fact for driving a vehicle in the incident. He is considered a youthful offender, but will be tried in adult court.
According to the AP, Jones cried in court when he tried to speak about the events, but was silenced by a judge. Prosecutor Jason Hicks described the other suspects' lack of remorse, claiming that one of the boys "thinks it's all a joke."
The case has sparked international outrage, including calls from an Australian politician for tourist from that country to boycott travel to the United States in response.
"I am deeply angry about this because of the callous attitude of the three teenagers (but) it's a sign of the proliferation of guns on the ground in the USA," Tim Fischer, former deputy prime minister of Australia, said this week. "This is the bitter harvest and legacy of the policies of the NRA..."
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