PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Taylor Swift performed at Heinz Field Saturday for about 57,000 fans with very little trouble. However, there was one big concern: 28-year-old Joseph Jackson of Clarksburg.
Police say Jackson threatened Swift on Facebook, he said "Taylor Swift must perish and die" then he brought posters to her concert reading “I luv you” and “Taylor Swift is with Satan.” After seeing the posters and the alleged Facebook threats, police moved in and grabbed Jackson in his seat.
“Certain actions you take on the internet are illegal by definition,” said attorney David Shrager. “Certain statements can be used against you in a courtroom.” Shrager does not have this case, but has several like it. He says social media can be dangerous legal territory. “I have cases, I go into court, the prosecution has evidence of my client making statements on the internet or taking pictures of himself with firearms and putting them on Facebook pages or their Twitter accounts and that makes it very difficult for me,” he said.
In this particular case, police say Joseph Jackson became particularly agitated when asked about the Facebook threats toward Taylor Swift. According to police records, Jackson told arresting officers “Taylor Swift is Satan and that 6,000 years is six days and death comes on the sixth day, so Taylor Swift is in danger.”
Detectives confiscated the posters Jackson had with him and found he had no weapons on him. They then handcuffed him and took him to jail, where he will face a mental evaluation.
Sources confirm Swift security officials are very pro-active regarding any sort of threat against the artist and that they passed that information to police who made the arrest. Meantime, attorneys working these cases offer simple advice.
“My advice is don’t say anything on the internet you wouldn’t say in front of a police officer, a judge, a prosecutor or your mother,” Shrager said.