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Police: Threat Posters "Will Be Called in for Questioning"

Cranston Police Chief Col. Marco Palombo Jr. said the threatening messages posted on Twitter and other social media sites are being investigated. Meanwhile police are patrolling Cranston West and the Ahlquist residence over the weekend.

Cranston Police are "combing through" social media networks and websites and "those messages that are construed as extremely threating in nature will be identified and their authors will be called in for questioning," said Cranston Police Chief Col. Marco Palombo Jr.

In a release, Palombo said that the department is conducting a "proactive investigation" into "threatening comments being made through social media outlets directed at Cranston High School West student Jessica Ahlquist amid the court decision regarding the removal of the prayer banner from the school's auditorium."

"While it is clear that which is prohibited under the recently legislated Safe Schools Act, other comments that have been posted could possibly fall under the Cyberstalking and cyberharrassment prohibited statute which calls for in part, 'a purposeful course of conduct that would cause a person reasonable emotional distress and to be in fear for their safety,' Palombo said.

That means some people could be prosecuted by police in addition to facing punishment from the school district under other laws relating to cyberstalking and cyberharassment.

Palombo said people found to be in violation of cyberharassement laws can be criminally charged and may be found guilty of a misdemeanor for the first offense and subsequent offenses are felonies.

Along with investigating the social media messages, Palombo said Cranston Police will have extra patrols over the weekend both at and by the Ahlquist residence.

Some people posted Ahlquists' home address on news websites.

“This investigation should be in no way construed as an abridgement to an individuals’ right to first amendment expression; but posted messages that are overtly harassing and threatening in nature will be fully investigated, and the Cranston Police Department will not tolerate any acts or actions that jeopardize the safety of others," Palombo said.

Although many of the people who posted hostile messages towards Ahlquist on Twitter have since deleted their Tweets, several websites and blogs have been archiving them by taking screen captures. One of those sites, http://jesusfetusfajitafishsticks.blogspot.com/, has dozens of the messages archived.

To read through more than 20 articles we've posted over the last year-and-a-half regarding the prayer banner case, click HERE.

Edward Vidakovic January 15, 2012 at 03:45 AM
I'd like to provide you with a link to some of the comments made about Miss Ahlquist and her family: http://jesusfetusfajitafishsticks.blogspot.com/2012/01/ahlquist-screenshots-if-by-christian.html Read through those, if you have a strong stomach, and then come back and tell me if you think that those reactions are justified.
Edward Vidakovic January 15, 2012 at 03:47 AM
Moonshell, I have read every entry on Jessica Ahlquist's blog, and every relevant message on her Twitter page, and have not seen one hateful thing that she has said about Christians. Can you quote me something of that nature and provide a link?
Edward Vidakovic January 15, 2012 at 03:51 AM
"Commenters at the Providence Journal site posted her home address and called for physical brutality against not only Miss Ahlquist, but her younger siblings and her sick mother." Is that mere "venting," Ed? That sounds like a terroristic threat made by these bullies. Making terroristic threats is a violation of the law. There's nothing "rightful" about it. Please read some of the statements made by Jessica's schoolmates, then see if you can defend it as simply blowing off steam. You can find the threats here: http://jesusfetusfajitafishsticks.blogspot.com/2012/01/ahlquist-screenshots-if-by-christian.html
Edward Vidakovic January 15, 2012 at 03:55 AM
There are, in fact, constitutional grounds for removing the banner. Cranston High School, as a part of America's public school system, is a facet of the federal government, and is therefore subject to the constitutional prohibition on establishing one religion above another religion, or above a lack of religion. The banner advocated Christianity and was thus in violation of the establishment clause of the Constitution. Jessica Ahlquist was not "warring on Christianity," as many have stated; she was ensuring the integrity of the Constitution and the fair treatment of religious minorities.
Edward Vidakovic January 15, 2012 at 03:58 AM
Also, I'd like to respond to your statement that "there are no constitutional grounds for prohibiting prayer in school." You're absolutely correct. That's why prayer is not prohibited in public schools. Students in public schools can pray whenever and however they like; it's called "Prayer Group" or "Christian Club" or "Bible Study." What is forbidden by the Constitution, and what you and others appear to want, is prayer to one specific deity, the Christian God, mandated by school officials and government employees. This would violate the establishment clause of the Constitution.
glavoie January 15, 2012 at 05:06 AM
God does not believe in atheists, therefore; atheists do not exist.
Edward Vidakovic January 15, 2012 at 05:24 AM
I'm glad you ignored the response to your previous comments and are instead posting pithy one-liners. It proves that you have no legitimate argument better than I ever could.
Edward Vidakovic January 15, 2012 at 05:27 AM
In response to the one-liner: There is physical evidence for atheists. Thus, it is reasonable to believe that atheists exist.
glavoie January 15, 2012 at 03:02 PM
No, I do have a response, but too little time to get into a cycle of debate with people bent on twisting the constitution. The banner establishes nothing. If anything, it's opponents violate free exercise. Your remarks about what my aims are with regard to prayer in school are based on pure fantasy. How do you know why, or with what aims I support free exercise. Finally the pithy one-liner is simply a reflection, right back at you of the logic that just because you don't believe in God he doesn't exist. Beneath all that doubt there is a beautiful loving child of God. I'll continue to pray for you, whether you like it or not!
Edward Vidakovic January 15, 2012 at 05:57 PM
What doesn't the Judge understand about the Constitution, Mr. Davis? It seems that he was pretty clear on the establishment clause, at least. Are you more of a Constitutional authority than the man who's spent his life studying it? If so, what exactly was the judge's mistake?
Edward Vidakovic January 15, 2012 at 06:04 PM
The opponents aren't violating free exercise, because they haven't taken away the right of anyone to pray when and how they like; they're simply ensuring the integrity of the establishment clause, which states that the federal government (of which Cranston High School and America's public school system is a part) must not establish one religion over another or over a lack of religion. The banner exhorted prayer to a monotheistic deity using specifically Christian language, meaning that it was in violation of the establishment clause. The one-liner - "God does not believe in atheists, therefore; atheists do not exist." - is based on faulty logic. Most atheists don't believe in God because they see no physical evidence for his existence; however, there is much physical evidence for the existence of atheists, such as the fact that I'm typing this right now. Thanks for the prayers; I'd suggest, however, that you pray first for the people who threatened the lives of Jessica Ahlquist, her siblings, and her mother. Best wishes.
Ed January 15, 2012 at 11:55 PM
First Ed let be be up front here and state that I personally don't or approve of the things that were written and the threats that were made. My point is simple here, her school mates don't like what she did, period... They are venting to show their dissatisfaction with it, (Psychology 101). They are all doing it on their keyboards behind the safety of their computer screens in the comfort of their houses. There is no one going to her house, harming her or her family... she will be fine unless she provokes someone in another way in a face to face situation. Then I would think that would be a problem but I'm positive she has already been told that by the police... That is why I said it is venting, it is a hot topic and they are all feeding off each other, it will calm down shortly...
glavoie January 16, 2012 at 12:40 AM
Everything you see and many things you can't see are evidence of God's existence. To me it is an even greater leap of faith to believe anything could exist without God. If you read my first post you would see that I rebuke the actions of those harrassing Ms. Ahlquist. The true, unadulterated Gospel of Jesus Christ and the writings of his apostles teach a loving way of life. God is much greater than any banner. If the banner comes down, it will be for the wrong reasons. But God's love and power endure forever. Ms. Ahlquist and those attacking her are in my prayers as well.
Cranston Resident January 16, 2012 at 01:09 AM
Edward, The people that are continuing to post these reprehensible threats are as ignorant and opportunistic as the original posters. Continuing the display of this garbage is also a continuation of the abuse that Ahlquist is being subjected to.
Cranston Resident January 16, 2012 at 01:23 AM
Read my comment again. I didn't say it was Jessica making these offensive remarks. But if you read the rest of the posts on this thread and others related to this issue, you would see that many atheists on these threads have posted remarks which are offensive and insulting to people of faith and some even immoral.
Cranston Resident January 16, 2012 at 01:34 AM
I did not say that all people of faith are good. They are certainly not. I am saying that some atheists are not good and are making immoral comments on these threads. Read before you comment. And please do not patronize us people of faith in the way that many non-believers do. You would characterize faitha as "comforting" and as having "blinders of religion" or as "shackles of an ancient superstition". Many very intelligent people of faith happen to see the reality that all that has been created and exists did not happen by chance. So you see these comments you have made are insults to us even though you do not recognize them as such. And any rationalization you present to defend your rude and innacurate description of faith will not make your comments any less offensive to us. Please do not justify your own ignorant remarks by saying they are a response for rude remarks left by some people of faith.
Cranston Resident January 16, 2012 at 01:43 AM
Hey Paul, If ever there was "puddle of intellectual mush".... your five consecutive posts would certainly fit that description.
Joe The Plumber January 16, 2012 at 01:49 AM
Again! This thread like all the other threads related to this topic has been overrun by that flock of militant, angry, insulting, long-winded, pseudo-intellectual atheists who represent an insignificant 2% of our society.
Paul Auger January 16, 2012 at 03:14 AM
So Cranston Resident ,this shows that ,unlike you, I can think beyond "bumper sticker" mentality, I am well aware that this was posted publicly and anyone has the right to read it, but no one is required to, if you did not want to read all five post why did you? Keep in mind it was not addressed to you, so if you did not want to read it you have every right not to. What I find even more interesting is that neither you or David Bradley, the person that it was addressed to, bothered to respond to the content of my posts. To be fair David may not have seen it yet, so he could not respond, But you made a point of the fact that you have seen and read it, and borrowed someone's dig (because you lack the ability to come up with one of your own) which really did not bother me because it was not like you were using my own words against me. However you made it clear that you read all five posts, something I am sure was a challenge for you. Could you comment on the content instead of the length? Since you have a bumper stick mentality I found a web site to help you gather your thoughts. now all you need to do is cut and pate like you did with your borrowed dig. See you don't even have to think http://www.zazzle.com/politics+bumperstickers
Melanie Scalera January 16, 2012 at 06:09 AM
I agree 100% with you. It's not ok what people are saying about this anti-christian freak family; yet the immoral things I found that the anti-christians posted are ok though? This stuff is so offensive I can't even believe it! Here's an example---a fake twitter page one of them made about a girl who told the atheists off: https://twitter.com/#!/taylercrocker
Sven Hartley January 16, 2012 at 01:26 PM
This is exactly the weird logic that Jessica is fighting. "Our Heavenly Father" is a Christian-only term, many non-Christians do not see any value in prayer and the banner does, in fact, violate the Constitution, if you read the judges decision. If you spent two seconds researching past Supreme Court decisions, rather than just reading one book over and over, you might begin understand the nuisances of Constitutional Law and Constitutional Rights.
Paul Auger January 16, 2012 at 02:26 PM
So Joe you support the harassment of a teen age girl? And How can 2% of any population over run anything?
John Thayer January 16, 2012 at 03:41 PM
Hey Chief Marco Palombo Jr. SUCK MY GLOCK ! ! ! "Called in for questioning" Ha, Ha! Just TRY it!
David Davis January 16, 2012 at 04:36 PM
Clearly not as unintelligent (unitellegent) as you seem to be. I never said anyone threatened my life or my (of you would say me) life. Grammar much?
Paul Auger January 16, 2012 at 06:05 PM
Gee Dave I am so sorry about a few typos, As I have mentioned in other posts I have Cerebral Palsy this makes keyboarding difficult. So no Dave the typos are not a result of my IO, rather they are a result of a disability, That said I should have proof read more carefully and caught those things. The more interesting thing here is that you hid behind the typos in order to not respond to my actual point which was that you are comparing apples and oranges. I never said that you said your life was threatened. I was suggesting that your so called "threat to your freedom" which you never provide a concrete, real life example of most likely did not involve a threat to your life, or a threat of bodily harm. so you experience cannot be compared to what Jess is going through. If your safety or life is being threatened then by all means you too should have police protection. Up to now you have not given us any evidence that your freedoms are in jeopardy in any way shape or form. Which freedoms do you reefer to? Can you tell me how YOUR LIFE has been effected by the judge's decision?
Edward Vidakovic January 16, 2012 at 07:28 PM
Cranston Resident, Assuming you're the same "Cranston Resident" who's been posting on this site for the past couple days about this case, don't give me the "I care about Jessica Ahlquist and want the best for her, you're hurting her :( " act. You don't care about Miss Ahlquist, you just don't want people to see that so-called Christians threatened her life, because that would hurt your religion's image. Those screenshots aren't going to go away, CR, and suggesting that condemning the statements is equivalent to making the statements in the first place is disingenuous.
Edward Vidakovic January 16, 2012 at 07:30 PM
>>"it's not ok what people are saying..." Good! I'm glad we agree! >>"...about this anti-christian freak family!" Oh. Way to contradict yourself there, Melanie.
Edward Vidakovic January 16, 2012 at 07:33 PM
Actually, atheists now make up 16% of our society, and that number is growing rapidly. You should check out the latest census data.
RDT January 16, 2012 at 09:16 PM
Edward: Also I stated that Christians give more than any other non relgious or relgious group not that no one give see below information from the Hoover Inst. Charity differences between religious and secular people persist if we look at the actual amounts of donations and volunteering. Indeed, measures of the dollars given and occasions volunteered per year produce a yawning gap between the groups. The average annual giving among the religious is $2,210, whereas it is $642 among the secular. Similarly, religious people volunteer an average of 12 times per year, while secular people volunteer an average of 5.8 times. To put this into perspective, religious people are 33 percent of the population but make 52 percent of donations and 45 percent of times volunteered. Secular people are 26 percent of the population but contribute 13 percent of the dollars and 17 percent of the times volunteered
Ed January 18, 2012 at 12:33 AM
Edward Vidakovic... I am so sorry that you are out of touch with today's youth... As I stated before and I will state again, they are only venting behind the safety of their computer screen... If everyone followed your rational we would have the National Guard posted at her side 24-7... You just don't get it, period... I don't approve of the comments either, but you need a touch of reality... Nuff Said...

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