A Gainesville man was arrested Thursday morning on a felony charge, accused of threatening police and inciting violence on social media, authorities said.
Arturo Adame, 29, was arrested on a count of terroristic threats due to posts he made in early June, the Hall County Sheriff’s Office said in a news release. He was taken into custody at his place of employment in Gainesville.
According to investigators, Adame used “social media to encourage, solicit and promote terroristic acts, namely to kill police and burn this country.”
However, many members of the Gainesville activism community feel it was a wrongful arrest, claiming Adame is a “political prisoner.”
Since his arrest, a Facebook fundraiser called “Free Arturo” has raised more than $10,000, with contributions from nearly 300 people.
“Arturo has been an active organizer in Gainesville for YEARS. Make no mistake, Arturo is being held as a political prisoner and they want to make an example,” the fundraiser organizer wrote on the page. “This is serious and we can no longer be blind to the targeting of protesters and activists by our police state.”
The organizer also said Adame advocated for poultry workers in the Gainesville area and was an adamant supporter of the Black Lives Matter movement.
His attorney, Jennifer McCall, told AJC.com that Adame is an active member of the community who attends city council meetings and advocates for affordable housing and police reform. She also mentioned that Adame met with Sheriff Gerald Couch twice in the past few weeks regarding the detainment and deportation of undocumented immigrants.
McCall questioned why Adame’s social media activity led to his arrest, while those posting threats against protesters have not been charged.
“We believe that his activism has caused him to be a political target,” she said in an email.
According to Adame’s public Facebook page, he attended the first day of protests in downtown Atlanta, which ended with police cars being lit ablaze, nearby businesses being vandalized and dozens of arrests. In addition, he attended Black Lives Matter protests in Gainesville.
In one post, he called an officer an expletive, but there isn’t a current post that appears to threaten the lives of police. His public Instagram page features similar posts, but none appear to explicitly threaten police.
When asked for further clarity on Adame’s specific posts that threatened police and incited violence, the sheriff’s office said, “At this time we can’t get into the specifics of the case as it’s an active and ongoing investigation.”
Adame was released from the Hall County Jail later Thursday on a $4,600 bond, the sheriff’s office said.
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