By Thomas Madison
So, what’s the deal with this guy? Was he trying to start a race war, posting a terroristic threat that would be seen as a case of racist hate by a white poster? Or was he just bored and looking for some fun? Or did he actually plan to go out and kill as many black people as he could?
Emmanuel D. Bowden, who bears a striking resemblance to Buckwheat, is a black college student who was living on the campus of Saginaw Valley State University in Saginaw, Michigan.
He is now living in the local jail, charged with terroristic threatening. He is also awaiting trial on an unrelated credit card case. On the felony terrorism charge he is facing a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison.
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SAGINAW, MI — Police at Saginaw Valley State University say a threat posted on the social media site Yik Yak read, “I’m going to shoot every black person I can on campus. Starting tomorrow morning.”
The message triggered an investigation and police security response that led to the arrest of a Delta College student living in SVSU housing.
Emmanuel D. Bowden, 21, is charged with making a false report or threat of terrorism, a felony that carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison.
According to SVSU University Police reports, a user on the social media application Yik Yak, just after midnight Friday, Nov. 13, posted the message about shooting black people.
The police reports state that, after the post received multiple “negative replies,” the original poster replied with four additional messages that read, “Its [sic] a joke,” “I’m black,” “I was going to give it an hour to see how you all would react,” and “Right. I could be angry and just expressing myself lol.”
The original message, as well as all replies, “were deleted from Yik Yak a short time later due to the number of negative votes the original message generated,” police reports state.
Yik Yak is an application that lets users in a geographic location “instantly speak with those right around you” while using pseudonyms, according to the application’s website. Its published guidelines “indicate that Yik Yak maintains the IP address from which each message is posted, the GPS coordinates of the location from which the message was posted, the time and date when the message was posted, and the user-agent string associated with the device from which the message was posted,” according to police reports.
University police and the FBI investigated the post, and police sometime before 9:30 a.m. arrested Bowden inside a residence hall on SVSU’s campus in Kochville Township on an unrelated warrant. While inside the residence hall, police called Bowden’s cellphone to confirm his phone was the one they believe was used to post the threat, the reports state.
University spokesman J.J. Boehm has said Bowden, a Canton resident, is a full-time Delta College student who was living on SVSU’s campus. SVSU has 13 students from Delta living on campus this year, Boehm said.
The Saginaw News obtained the police reports through a Freedom of Information Act request that SVSU granted “in the public interest of providing accurate information regarding this matter,” Boehm said.
“This should not, in any way, be construed as an action on the part of the Saginaw County prosecutor’s office, nor should be viewed as any implication of the defendant’s guilt,” Boehm said. “Like all defendants, the suspect in this case remains innocent until proven guilty.”
Bowden’s arrest warrant alleges he “did threaten to commit an act of terrorism and did communicate that threat to another person.”
The language from Bowden’s warrant comes from the statute related to the false report charge. The statute also states, “It is not a defense to a prosecution under this section that the defendant did not have the intent or capability of committing the act of terrorism.”
Bowden remains jailed on a $10,000 or 10 percent bond in the Yik Yak case. He also remains jailed on a $4,500 or 10 percent bond on a credit card-related case that he, Javon A. Cooney and Omari J. Willis face in connection with an Oct. 2 incident inside a convenience store on SVSU’s campus.