Akron, OH – The son of a candidate running for Ohio lieutenant governor was arrested on Saturday, after he issued social media posts threatening to kill police officers, and possibly members of the public.
Akron City Councilwoman Tara Samples is the running mate of gubernatorial candidate Dennis Kucinich, the Akron Beacon Journal reported.
Although his mother’s campaign issued a statement that Brian Newell, 24, had been taken into “protective custody,” detention center records confirm he was being held for having violated his probation conditions in relation to a heroin trafficking offense.
At least two of Newell’s Facebook posts directly threatened law enforcement officers.
“I BET I KILL A COP TODAY P*****S,” Newell wrote.
“Kill cops,” a separate post read.
Newell then issued a broader threat.
“Okay its cool ima hurt all yall stay tf back or im blowing s**t back on God on my religion im smoking s**t today b***c im packing something long thatl remove the front of a n***a face back tf up,” the message read.
Newell’s posts were intercepted and reposted by Ohio Going Blue on Sunday.
“Akron City Councilwoman Tara L. Samples, seeing as how this post came from your Son, we are curious what your thoughts on this are,” the pro-law enforcement group said in its post. “Do you condone this type of behavior? How about you, Dennis Kucinich? Do either of you support the men and women who risk their lives daily for your safety?”
On Sunday, the Kucinich-Samples campaign issued a statement about the incident, in which they claimed Newell was “taken into protective custody after he suffered an emotional episode,” WJW reported.
“Brian, like all people with mental health and addiction issues, needs treatment, not jail time,” the statement read. “Many of us have a family member, or a friend, a coworker, or an acquaintance who suffers from some kind of mental health problems, drug or alcohol addiction, dependence on medications, or behavioral issues. They need our help, our support, our encouragement, and our love.”
The campaign went on to blast those who criticized Newell on social media following his threats to kill police.
“Instead of understanding and compassion, some people resort to recriminations and enmity,” the Kucinich-Samples campaign complained, noting that some of the comments ranged “from naïve, uninformed, and insensitive to mean-spirited, vulgar, vicious, hateful, threatening, and racist.”
Newell’s probation appeared to stem from the 2014 death of 23-year-old Julia Robbins, who overdosed on heroin and fentanyl, The Plain Dealer reported.
Robbins’ dealer told police that he obtained the drugs from Newell.
According to The Plain Dealer, Newell was also arrested on heroin and cocaine trafficking charges from transactions which occurred approximately three weeks prior to Robbins’ death.
Akron City Court records indicated that Newell was charged with carrying a concealed weapon in 2012, but that he ultimately pleaded no contest to an offense of disorderly conduct.
A 2014 drug paraphernalia offense and a 2014 marijuana use charge were also dismissed.
Newell’s criminal history included another disorderly conduct charge, domestic violence, unauthorized use of a vehicle, and multiple warrants.
Newell’s mother has planned to have her son admitted to a treatment facility, the Kucinich-Samples campaign said.
“The role of government should be to help people who need help – like Brian – and that will be the highest priority of a Kucinich-Samples Administration,” the statement read.