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Federal Authorities Arrest Man Linked To Threat That Closed U. Of Chicago

Authorities have arrested a man in connection with the online threat that prompted the University of Chicago to cancel Monday classes at its main campus. Federal officials say Jabari Dean of Chicago — motivated by the 2014 police killing of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald, who was black — threatened to kill 16 white male students or staff to correspond with the number of times McDonald was shot, the Associated Press reports.

NPR's Cheryl Corley reports that the U.S. attorney's office in Chicago says Dean, 21, has been charged with transmitting a threat in interstate commerce, a charge that carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison.

Dean was arrested without incident Monday morning, Cheryl says. She adds: "Prosecutors say in a Thanksgiving weekend posting on a social media website, Dean stated he would execute approximately 16 students or staff members at the University of Chicago campus and die 'killing any number of white policemen that I can in the process.' "

Authorities closed the campus after the FBI alerted them on Sunday night to a threat of gun violence that would supposedly take place at 10 a.m. Monday. The FBI said the online threat mentioned the University of Chicago's quad, a popular gathering place.

Activists have been protesting the killing of McDonald since last week's release of the video recording showing police Officer Jason Van Dyke shooting him 16 times. Van Dyke was charged Nov. 24 with murder; on Monday, he posted bond and was released.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Corrected: November 30, 2015 at 12:00 AM EST
A previous version of this story incorrectly gave police Officer Jason Van Dyke's first name as James.
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