Ohio prosecutor warns white supremacist 'cowards' while announcing charges over anti-Semitic threats

Ohio prosecutor warns white supremacist 'cowards' while announcing charges over anti-Semitic threats
© Greg Nash

The U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Ohio issued a warning to white supremacists who threaten violence online while announcing charges Thursday against a man accused of making anti-Semitic threats online.

In a press conference, U.S. Attorney Justin Herdman announced James Reardon, a self-described white nationalist, has been charged with one count of transmitting threatening communications through interstate commerce.

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Reardon’s Instagram account, which was full of anti-Semitic language, featured a video of a man firing a rifle with the Youngstown Jewish Community Center tagged and the caption "Police identified the Youngstown Jewish Family Community shooter as local white nationalist Seamus O'Rearedon," the Gaelic equivalent of his name, according to CNN.

Addressing white nationalists directly, Herdman said, “The Constitution protects your right to speak, your right to think, and your right to believe. If you want to waste the blessings of liberty by going down a path of hatred and failed ideologies, that is your choice.”

“What you don’t have, though, is the right to take out your frustration at failure in the political arena by resorting to violence. You don’t have any right to threaten the lives and well-being of our neighbors,” he said.

“They have an absolute God-given and inalienable right to live peacefully, to worship as they please, to be free from fear that they might become a target simply because of the color of their skin, the country of their birth, or the form of their prayer,” he added.

In his warning, Herdman also invoked the killing of 22 people in El Paso, Texas, earlier this month. The suspect in the case reportedly told police he intended to kill “Mexicans” and has been tied to a racist, anti-immigrant manifesto. Herdman also pointed to Dylann Roof, the white supremacist convicted of murdering nine African American churchgoers in Charleston, S.C., in 2015.

“Threatening to kill Jewish people, gunning down innocent Latinos on a weekend shopping trip, planning and plotting to perpetrate murders in the name of a nonsense racial theory, sitting to pray with God-fearing people who you execute moments later — those actions don't make you soldiers, they make you cowards,” Herdman said.

“And law enforcement does not go to war with cowards who break the law, we arrest them and send them to prison,” he added.