While Teen Rots in Jail for Making Facebook Joke, Cop Who Talked About Killing Michelle Obama Gets Slap on the Wrist


Comal County Sheriffs Office

Justin Carter, 19, has been in jail since March 27, when the Comal County (Texas) teen was arrested for making an off-color joke to a friend about a MOBA* computer game they were playing. "You're crazy," the friend told Carter. "I think I'ma shoot up a kindergarten. And watch the blood of the innocent rain down. And eat the beating heart of one of them," Carter replied, adding "lol j/k."

For this transgression, Carter was not just investigated, but arrested. He's been in jail for months now, held on $500,000 bail. His attorney says he's been beaten several times and placed on suicide watch; suicide watch, in case you didn't know, translates to "placed naked in solitary confinement."

Across the country, in Washington, D.C., a very similar situation has had a very different outcome. D.C. Police Officer Christopher Picciano, "a 17-year veteran who was a member of the elite presidential motorcade detail," will be suspended without pay for a little over a month after joking about killing the first lady, threatening to go on a shooting spree, and calling Pres. Obama a communist: 

A District police officer accused of threatening Michelle Obama has been cleared of administrative charges related to the first lady but was found guilty of posting a derogatory job description on social media and depicting the president as a communist, his attorney said Monday.


Picciano got into trouble in July 2012 while eating breakfast with a group of officers in a downtown restaurant. They were talking about the first lady's threat level, and one officer explained that it was high because "a lot of people want to kill her." Another officer then testified that Picciano said, "Yeah, because I want to kill her" and then showed that officer a picture of a handgun on his phone.

But Pressler said that two separate conversations were crossing the table at the same time. Picciano's version is that the officer asked who would kill Obama — to which he answered, "I guess I would." Pressler said his client was also talking about a birthday gift of a .40-caliber handgun and at the moment he made the joke, the picture of the gun downloaded on the phone he was holding up.

According to the Washington Post, the U.S. attorney's office declined to press charges against Picciano because it "agree[d] with the Secret Service that Picciano was not serious with his comment about Michelle Obama." Picciano also "wrote on Facebook about taking a rifle to a tall building," after the D.C. Council voted to trim pension benefits for the MPD. That wasn't serious either, apparently. 

Comal County, Texas, is a world away from Washington, D.C., so the two cases aren't exactly apples-to-apples. Then again, Texas is also a world away from Massachusetts, where another teenager was nearly rail-roaded for posting violent raps on Facebook. Could the differences between how Carter and Picciano were treated be largely geographical? It's possible. 

But there's also something to be said about the benefit of a doubt afforded police officers (even bad ones) versus regular people. Picciano joked about killing the first lady and going on a Charles Whitman-esque shooting spree, yet remains free and employed in a job that allows him to carry a gun; Carter, a 19-year-old who doesn't own a gun, joked about shooting up a school, and is being kept naked in solitary confinement as a result.

It's possible that Carter made that joke in the wrong state, but I think in this case, and others like it, power matters far more than geography. 

Related: Why Firing a Bad Cop is Damn Near Impossible

*League of Legends is a MOBA, not a MMOG.

NEXT: Documents Unsealed in Hernandez Case

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  1. Alt-text fail.

    1. If you think Marilyn`s story is shocking,, my best friend’s step-mother makes $67 every hour on the laptop. She has been out of a job for 8 months but last month her paycheck was $12430 just working on the laptop for a few hours. Read more here http://www.Bling6.com

      1. Did you just call Riggs “Marilyn?
        Them’s fightin’ words.

  2. Like any human can take a Wookie. Sheesh. Lighten up, Francis.

    1. Um, are you fucking retarded? The clone army of Palpatine shredded the wookiees in the Battle of Kashyyk after Order 66 was given.

      I swear, sometimes I’m amazed at the level of ignorance on the pages of H&R.

      1. Anything prequel is non-canon as Lucas was clearly suffering from dementia, directly contributing to his hot sale of the empire to Mickey Mouse.

        1. Hey sloop, what Star Trek episode was that on? The one where the Cylons invaded Gondor?

          1. The episode right after, where McFly taught Ender how to hover board.

            1. Oh yeah. That’s where the bad guy used his phaser right before he ate the spice and folded space.

              1. Thus saving Xanth

                1. dinkster| 7.9.13 @ 6:50PM |#

                  Thus saving Xanth

                  Lines have been crossed.

            2. You’re all wrong. It’s the one where Mr. Hand was working at Starfleet Academy and taught Cadet Spicoli Captain Picard a valuable lesson…only he never said “Aloha”, which was a downer.

              1. Haha. You dumb bastards. My episode was real.

                1. I think they were trying to reference a bunch of unrelated scifis.

      2. yEAH, ey HAz a retarded. What u gone DOO about it, sloppy??!1

        1. Nuthin’
          [runs away]

      3. Um, are you fucking retarded? The clone army of Palpatine shredded the wookiees in the Battle of Kashyyk after Order 66 was given.

        That was only because the Clones had the element of surprise: they were embedded with the Wookies and were thus able to turn on them and quickly overrun them.

        Plus later when the Clones are searching for Yoda you see a bunch of dead troopers and wrecked equipment strewn among the dead Wookies, clearly showing that the Wookies put up a hell of a fight.

        1. The wrecked equipment was from when the Clones deactivated the droids. Their casualty levels were a lot lower than those of the Wookiees and even the Jedi that got their asses PWNED in the battle.

          Jesus Titty-Fucking Christ. Leave the revisionist history to fans of Lincoln and FDR, don’t try to rewrite the Clone Wars.

          1. You are still ignoring the crucial role surprise played in determining the battle.
            It’s like your’e arguing that Pearl Harbor proved the superiority of the Imperial Japanese Navy over the US Navy because they only last 23 planes to our thousands of men and dozens of ships.

            I’d like to see the Clone troopers try to storm a barricade held by Wookie warriors. Many arms would be ripped from their sockets.

            1. Hey, I never said they won the war. I just said it proved that humans could kill wookiees.

              Also, why would they storm a barricade when they can just build another death star and blow their planet up from orbit? And we all know there’s no way the wookiees could defend against that. Shit, they probably couldn’t construct a death asteroid, let alone a death star.

              1. Hey, I never said they won the war. I just said it proved that humans could kill wookiees.

                I never said they were invulnerable, only that they were damn tough warriors, like Comanches. Clone troopers are overly confident and their armor is weak. Let’s not forget the debacle on Endor that proves how shitty they are.

                Also, why would they storm a barricade when they can just build another death star and blow their planet up from orbit?

                Since when is the Empire known for its strategic thinking? That’s like asking why didn’t Tarkin just blow up the gas giant that Yavin IV orbits which would have destroyed the planet.

                1. Clone troopers are overly confident and their armor is weak.

                  And you call yourself a serious man. It was their leadership and the overconfidence of the Emperor, not their training, skill or lack of effective armor that cost them. If Palpatine would have blown the transport up when it was approaching the moon (remember, he fucking knew who was on it), the rebellion would have been crushed.

                  1. It was their leadership and the overconfidence of the Emperor, not their training, skill or lack of effective armor that cost them.

                    They got their asses kicked by a bunch of teddy of bears with spears and logs. Q. E. fuckin’ D.

                    If Palpatine would have blown the transport up when it was approaching the moon (remember, he fucking knew who was on it), the rebellion would have been crushed.

                    Palaptine did not know Luke was aboard the transport, only that it was Rebel troops whom he allowed to land because his goal was to lure the Rebel fleet into a trap.

                    Vader had to go to him and ask for permission to retrieve Luke and bring him back.

                    1. Vader had to go to him and ask for permission to retrieve Luke and bring him back.

                      And Palpatine said he knew he was on the transport the entire time, and that he had set a trap for the rebels on the moon. He could have blown him up but his hubris kept him from doing so because he thought he could turn him to the Dark Side.

                      What the fuckity fuck is wrong with you, man? Are you trying to give me a heart attack or something? Between you and your inaccurate portrayal of the clone wars and Dunphy’s defense of the union vermin that just got their jobs back, I’m likely to blow a gasket.

                      I’m going to a cooking class, and when I’m done I’ll go home and watch Episode VI. We’ll discuss this tomorrow.

                    2. I recently watched the Episode VI over the weekend. It’s got a crap load of problems and faults that are pretty apparent if you watch it right after watching Episode V.

                      The Force giveth, the Force taketh away.

                  2. There’s a joke about professionalism in the storm troopers corp somewhere in there, but I can’t put it together.

                    1. All I know is that if mperial Stormtroopers would have had an employee union, there’s no way the emperor would have been able to control the Empire. The mandatory overtime alone would have bankrupted them. Unless, of course, he was employing the broken window plan and hoped for a great deal of stimulus spending int he resultant cleanup of Alderaan.

            2. Given how easily they were manipulated in KOTOR, it’s likely the Wookies could be conquered without too much of a struggle.

  3. When the Feds are smarter than you, you should hang your head in shame. Way to fucking go, Texas.

    1. Where is this “Texas is home of the freedom-loving badasses” crap coming from? It seems like every maniac cop story is coming from there.

      1. Let’s not give Seattle, WA cops a reason to up their game. They’re pretty fucking bad.

        1. FL cops says, “Hellllloooooooo?!”

        2. I went to school in Texas and was under the impression it was pretty liberty leaning at the time. The only run-in with the law I had was when I accidentally ran a stop sign that was obscured by a tree. The cop asked me if that’s how people stopped in Louisiana (I had La plates), laughed, and let me go without a ticket.

          These stories make me scared to go back to that nutty place.

  4. OT: Any games come out this year that I should bother playing for PC?

    1. Candy Crush Saga might be the greatest thing ever.

      And by “greatest,” I mean the most horrible and evil.

      1. You’re addicted, aren’t you?

        1. [hangs head in shame]
          Yeah. I am.

          1. Absolutely refuse to play it because it periodically closes my reason window and Google app store to Target me with assault ads

            1. Don’t you have a smartphone or a tablet? That’s what the game’s supposed to be played on.

    2. I’m excited for Wasteland 2.

    3. Rome: Total War II

  5. Yup, when I was in jail, other inmates informed me that if you answered yes, even jokingly, to the question “Have you ever thought about killing yourself?”, they would put you in the ‘nudie room’ which is kept very cold and has some kind of window in the door so you can be observed at all times.

  6. I wonder if the hag that turned him in is feeling any remorse.

    1. I’d be stunned if she did. I’m sure she thinks she did the right thing, she’d do it again.

      1. Exactly. Busybodies gonna busybody.

        She’s probably the kind of woman that thinks free speech is an outdated principle and that the second amendment is pure evil. You know, a useful idiot.

        1. I like to pretend.

        2. She’s probably playing Candy Crush Saga when she’s not ratting out kids.

          1. No, CCS is what causes people to say they’re gonna open fire on a Kindergarten. She’s probably still playing Farmville hoping her MySpace friends move in next door.

  7. In the olden days he would have simply made the comment to his friend in person, over the phone, possibly IRC or usenet. Life would have simply gone on. Today you make a sarcastic, non-serious comment to your friend via FB and you end up locked up naked in solitary. Progress!

    The fact that this kid is still in jail is utterly fucking appalling to any person with an IQ over 50.

    1. I agree. It makes me want to go and open fire on a class full of proggie snowflakes at the local Montessori school, and then eat one’s still-beating heart like that fucker in the second Indy Jones movie was gonna do until Indy got spit on. j/k lol

      1. It’s fun to watch the little ones squirm when I pin them to a wall with my assault pick axe, the screaming is annoying, but it doesn’t really last that long anyway. j/k lol

        1. I once drunkenly told a guy 2 feet taller than me at a bar that I would rip out his throat and shit in the hole. It actually worked, he walked away.

  8. In case the NSA is reading this (and I know they are, the fucks), that comment was merely a joke. A political statement made satirically to show that the 1A still exists in this country. It in no way indicates my desire or even willingness to gobble up the heart of a helpless child, born into the idiocy of a progressive family.

    I also want it known that I have no intention whatsoever to open fire at a Montessori school. That also was a joke made to prove that the 1A exists as it pertains to political satire and mocking the pussies in America that would see people jailed for making a joke while playing a video game. Also, suck my dick John Kerry.

  9. Why is this case the only one making the rounds in the media? This is horrible, but you know what’s even more horrible? A case almost exactly like this one, except the “culprit” is actually going to prison. Reason’s written about it already (though Doherty neglected to mention the prison sentence), but as it’s actually even worse than what’s happened to Carter so far, we shouldn’t forget it, and it serves as an example for what could happen to Carter:

    Josh was adamant about maintaining his innocence, but the family eventually decided that the odds of a conviction were simply too high. On June 20, Josh plead guilty, hoping for a lighter sentence. He is now awaiting transfer to a federal prison, where medical experts will evaluate his mental condition. Sentencing should take place a few months from now. Josh could get 10 years in prison, and a fine of $250,000.

    Yet Another Young Man in Jail for Making Feckless Threats to Video Game Opponents

  10. Why doesn’t the NSA step in and crunch some metadata and tell us definitively if this kid is a terrorist? You know, just run some algorithms? Those things have already stopped like… 50 terrorists.

    Or, they could just tell that piece of shit woman to mind her fucking business because they’re watching everything we say already.

  11. Dunphy is defending the prison guards getting their job back on the other thread. You’ve been warned.

  12. The more I think about it, the more I think Emperor Palpatine personifies Franklin D Roosevelt. Weak, frail, bitter old man clutching onto his centrally-controlled empire, fighting a war with his super-weapon. The only difference is that FDR enslaved people by way of a draft and internment while Palpatine had his slaves made by the cloners on Kamino.

    And Yoda is Tojo.

    1. And since the Trade Federation were caricatures of Teh Jooz, it is no surprise that they sided with FDR in his war too. The Jedi, after all, were trying to restrict their ability to negotiate contracts on their own terms (like you-know-who) forcing them to stand up for themselves. The only difference is, the European guys from 80 years ago that are represented by the Jedi order (remember, their little temple and restrictive secret society of purebloods?) wiped out the Jooz on earth while in a galaxy far, far away, the Jedi got their comeuppance.

      Basically, it’s all a Jewish uprising fetish film.

      1. Why, exactly, did the Nimoidians (sp?) stick with Darth Sidious even though he kept screwing them over?

        1. I think Darth Sidious had Nute Gunray under some kind of control…wait a minute, Episode I never happened anyway so I don’t know what the fuck you’re talking about.

            1. I haven’t seen that in a while. Thanks for refreshing my memory.

              1. The people who did that are also responsible for this:


  13. It is the government using the guise of terrorism to silence Americans. Unless there are circumstances such as if the kid has guns or has made real live threats in his past, the kid should have been out in an hour and the fact that he’s still sitting in jail tells me he’s got an incompetant civil rights attorney. So, REASON, instead of reporting, send him a good attorney.

  14. One of a multitude of incidents lending credence to my belief that the USA is in the throes of full-scale class warfare.

    Wake up you masses of common folks. The enemy is real and dwells among us.

    The USA elite class, monotlithic corporations and other wealthy & powerful entities have immense resources to use against you and me and everybody we know.

    Their HUGE herd of lackeys; from politicians to the legal sytem to the jack-booted thugs are ready to force you to obey.

    Our own elites, BIG businesses and our own governments are a greater threat to our freedoms than all foreign threats combined.

  15. If Picciano hadn’t been a cop, he would’ve been locked up just like Carter.

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