Prosecutors have dropped all charges against a Florida man who threatened to kill Donald Trump in a Facebook live “skit.”
Twenty-six-year-old Chauncy Lump “dressed as an Arab,” brandished an AK-47 rifle, and vowed revenge against Donald Trump for the killing of Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani in a January video that prosecutors decided was “more of a rant by an idiot” than a serious threat, the South Florida Sun Sentinel reported.
Lump told reporters that he was joking, but he regrets making the video.
“It was a comedy routine. But the things they are saying I said, I never said,” he told the Sun Sentinel.
Florida man won’t face charges
Lump, who is black, wore white cream on his face, had wrapped his head in a towel to look like a turban, and had Middle Eastern music playing in the background in the live stream, which was posted under the name “BlackMan vs. America” a day after Donald Trump ordered the deadly airstrike on Soleimani, the Secret Service said. Displaying an AK-47 rifle, the Oakland security guard said he would retaliate against Trump, who was staying at his Mar-a-Lago estate less than an hour away.
“He killed my leader and I have to kill him. I’m ready for Donald,” he allegedly said in the video. “I need to find the Donald because if I don’t find him, I am going to have to blow up Broward County.”
Lump was arrested hours after streaming the video and accused of threatening the president and making a false bomb threat. He said that it was all a joke and that he never meant any harm, although he admitted that the video could have been interpreted as threatening.
Prosecutors apparently agreed that Lump’s threats weren’t serious, but not before he spent 32 days in jail. Authorities dropped the cases against him after deciding the video was “more of a rant by an idiot,” than an act of someone with the “intent to actually carry out” his words, the Sun Sentinel reported.
A big price to pay
Although he expressed regret about making the video, Lump told the Sun Sentinel that it was “a comedy routine” and that “as far as threatening to blow up Broward or the president, I would do no such thing.” His attorney said that Lump had been mistreated by over-zealous authorities, since Lump was clearly being “tongue-in-cheek.”
“Bottom line — the ‘threats’ that Mr. Lump was accused of making were not credible, true, objectively reasonable, whatever standard you want to apply,” he said. “It was so clearly tongue-in-cheek, and while it might have been juvenile and foolish, there clearly was no crime committed, and Mr. Lump did not deserve to spend over a month in jail for it.”
That may be true, but the Secret Service doesn’t take any chances. The prank came with a steep cost: besides spending a month in jail, Lump is reportedly out of a job, CBS Miami reported.
Lump is currently weighing a civil lawsuit against Broward County police.