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Man accused of using social media to intimidate police officers

Reported by: Fatima Rahmatullah
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Updated: 8/30/2014 11:16 am

LAS VEGAS (KSNV & MyNews3) -- A Las Vegas grand jury indicts a man accused of using Facebook to threaten and harass two local police officers.

Authorities say his social media messages were criminal.

Deandre Allen, 27, is accused of using Facebook to intimidate two police officers.

Allen has been indicted on two counts each of aggravated stalking; stalking with use of a computer; and publishing matter inciting breach of peace or other crime; and one count of intimidating a public officer.

Bail was set at $500,000, and his next court appearance is scheduled for Sept. 4. He's being charged of stalking, intimidating public officers, and publishing matter that may incite violence.

Facebook is an online social networking service used by millions, including gang members. "This is an organized criminal gang, the GPKs, the Gerson Park Kindsman have been around for Las Vegas for many many years," said retired Metro Lt. Randy Sutton.

Prosecutors say Allen is affiliated with several gangs. He was indicted Wednesday for using Facebook to intimidate Metro police detective Lawrence Rinetti and North Las Vegas police officer Marcus Cook.

According to the police report, one post on Allen's Facebook page claims he was watching Cook and Rennetti and hoped they ended up like Metro officer Trevor Nettleton, who was shot and killed inside his home in 2009.

"This shows how social medical can be abused to the point where it creates a huge intimidation factor towards law enforcement," Sutton said. "It's kind of frightening."

It is frightning because police say Allen has a violent criminal history. He's been convicted of voluntary manslaughter. "If someone has demonstrated violence in the past, then that threat needs to be taken much more seriously," Sutton said.

Sutton says Allen might believe that's he's protected under his First Amendment right to free speech. "When you make a specific threat or you create an environment where a specific threat can be construed from it, that's where it cross the line," Sutton said.



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