Chicopee Police Respond to Alleged Anti-Police Social Media Threat

Charles DiRosa, 27, of Chicopee.
Charles DiRosa, 27, of Chicopee. –Chicopee Police via Facebook

In the wake of an ambush that killed two New York City Police officers, police in Chicopee said Monday afternoon that they summonsed a local man to court for writing an apparent anti-police Facebook post. Charles DiRosa, 27, was identified as the owner of the profile where the post appeared after Chicopee residents alerted police to the alleged threat. The phrase DiRosa posted — “Put Wings on Pigs’’ — is the same one the suspect in the New York City ambush posted on Instagram before the December 20 attack.

DiRosa has not been arrested, but police have filed a criminal complaint against him for threatening to commit a crime. He could face trial if the court determines the threat to be valid.

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Officer Wilk of Chicopee Police Department told Boston.com on Tuesday that “the post was sent to us from a concerned citizen, and was fowarded to our detective bureau to be investigated. A complaint was then sent to Chicopee District court and a show-cause hearing was requested.’’

Some comments on the department’s Facebook post detailing the incident questioned whether or not DiRosa’s actions could be considered free speech, but no formal charges have been pressed against DiRosa. “If the clerk magistrate determines that this was a threat, [a case] could move forward,’’ Wilk said.

Police Commissioner William Evans recently announced that Boston police are on alert in response to “anger and rhetoric being thrown around’’ against police officers. That anger has stemmed from the recent lack of indictments for police-involved deaths on Staten Island, New York, and in Ferguson, Missouri. Those events have also fueled nation-wide protests over the past few weeks.

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