Local and federal authorities in South Bend are seeking pre-trial detention of a man accused of making violent Facebook threats aimed at police before a peaceful Black Lives Matter rally that took place Saturday.
Isaiah Deonte Jovan Beavers, 26, was arrested over the weekend by the FBI and South Bend police and appeared Monday before Magistrate Christopher Nuechterlein in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana, South Bend Division. According to a statement from the office of Northern District U.S. Attorney David Capp, a hearing has been set for 2 p.m. Wednesday to determine whether Beavers will be in custody before he’s tried.
The 16-page affidavit outlining the probable cause against Beavers contains the Facebook posts authorities say he made on the eve of the Black Lives Matter march in South Bend. The affidavit references the recent Dallas march in which five police officers were ambushed and killed by a gunman.
Beavers is alleged to have made posts under the screen name Thoty Nut. In one, he pledged he would be at the rally with bottles containing gasoline and a gun. “im ready to riot and if u don’t want no violence stay away from me,” he allegedly said in one post. “He ends his post by stating, ‘lets burn this bitch downnn’ along with emojis for a handgun, fire and buildings,” the affidavit says.
A concerned citizen contacted South Bend police about the post. South Bend P.D.’s High Tech Crimes Unit connected Thoty Nut’s account to Beavers through his birthdate and cell phone number, among other identifiers.
The affidavit said Thoty Nut posted another image and comments regarding civil unrest and actions against police. “Moreover, he suggested that when people are ready to go, they can send him a message via his inbox or telephone him,” the affidavit says.
Thoty Nut also posted photos of rioters jumping on and damaging a police car and an illustration of a gun shooting an officer in riot gear through the head with the caption “Speak to cops in a language they understand.”
Beavers was charged with violating USC Title 18, Section 844(e), which prohibits the use of interstate commerce to make threats concerning an attempt or alleged attempt to kill, injure, intimidate; or to unlawfully damage buildings or property with fire or explosives. If convicted, the charge carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison.