Detroit, MI – A Novi man was so angry at CNN for reporting fake news that he threatened the network’s headquarters with a mass shooting.
Brandon Griesemer, 19, called CNN’s Atlanta offices at least 22 times on Jan. 9 and Jan. 10, and let loose with racist and profanity-laced rants, promising that he would come to Georgia and kill everyone in the newsroom, according to criminal complaint filed Friday in the Eastern District of Michigan.
“Fake news. I’m coming to gun you all down. F**k you, f**kin’ n*****s,” Griesemer told the receptionist who had the misfortune to answer the first of his repeated calls.
Three minutes later, he called CNN again and told the operator that employees should kill themselves and then threatened the operator: “I am on my way right now to gun the f**kin CNN cast down. F**k you,” WJBK reported.
The operator asked for the caller’s name and he replied “F**k you. I am coming to kill you,” and hung up again.
Then he called back about 30 minutes later and claimed he had more guns and manpower, and said that “your cast is about to get gunned down in a matter of hours.”
On one of the last calls Griesemer made to the network, he claimed to have a team of killers working for him.
“I have a gun and I am coming to Georgia right now to go to the CNN headquarters to f**king gun ever single last one of you. I have a team of people. It’s going to be great, man,” Griesemer told the phone operator.
An investigator for CNN tracked down the number and learned it was registered to Griesemer’s father. The investigator also learned a second number was on the same account, the complaint read.
When the investigator called the second number, the man who answered the call said his name was Brandon. The investigator compared audio and determined that it sounded like the same man who was making the threatening calls, according to the complaint.
CNN alerted federal authorities to the threatening phone calls, and Griesemer was arrested on Jan. 19, exactly 10 days after his barrage of calls began.
Griesemer was charged with interstate communications with intent to extort, intent to injure, and released on a $10,000 bond. He was ordered not to contact the network, the New York Daily News reported.
“Don’t be making any threats to anybody,” the judge told Griesemer in court.
Documents showed that Federal Bureau of Investigation Special Agent Sean Callaghan based his case on the work of CNN’s private investigator.
In the course of investigation, they also discovered a September incident where Griesemer was busted for calling a local Ann Arbor mosque and making nasty remarks about Muslims.
CNN chief Jeff Zucker was quick to reassure the CNN staff that there was no threat.
“Sadly, this is part of the reality we live in, as members of the media,” Zucker said in a statement. “I want to assure you that at every level of this company, nothing is more important than your safety. While you know we don’t talk publicly about security measures, let me assure you that we have addressed this situation.”
Activist writer Shaun King, who has repeatedly called to reform the bail system because it keeps people in jail, expressed his outrage over Griesemer being able to bail out of jail.
“Griesemer, you see, is a dangerous bigot, but he is also white. And because of his whiteness, he is already free on just $10,000 bond. He was charged, arrested, and released all in a single day, last Friday,” King said.
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