CINCINNATI – The president of Cincinnati's Fraternal Order of Police called a "hacktivist" group that threatened Cincinnati police in a YouTube video a "fringe group" that wants rile up CPD officers.
— Tom Mckee WCPO (@TMckeeWCPO) February 22, 2016
The hacker group “Anonymous” posted a YouTube video Sunday showing a masked man at a podium with a digitized voice who threatened to release the personal information of Cincinnati police officers involved in a shooting last week.
Police Chief Eliot Isaac said three officers fired nine rounds into Paul Gaston on Feb. 17 after he ignored commands to lie flat on the ground and instead raised up, appearing to retrieve a firearm from his waistband. Isaac said the gun was an Airsoft pistol, which he called "a very realistic-looking firearm."
Anonymous claims officers shot Gaston because he was black. The voice in the video also threatened to release personal information of officers anywhere in the United States who "murder a human being when (they) have other choices of containing the suspect available."
The group also compared Gaston's shooting with an incident in Mount Healthy the day before where a white man, Christopher Laugle, was arrested for pointing a toy gun at police. The voice in the video compared Gaston's case to other black men carrying fake weapons who have been shot by police in Ohio, John Crawford and Tamir Rice, and suggests there is a double standard based on race.
Officers claimed that Laugle's weapon had bright orange markings on the barrel, making it an obvious fake, unlike Gaston's Airsoft gun.
As of 5 a.m. Monday, content within the links to the “hackivist” data dump on CPD had been removed.