Racine man arrested after posting threats against police online

Post said white officers "may not make it home"
Posted at 9:55 AM, Jul 10, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-10 13:03:35-04

RACINE -- A Racine man, apparently upset about the recent shootings, could face criminal charges after a post online that threatened white police officers and their families.

His family said it's all a mistake. While admitting events this week had him fired up, they said there's no way he would have acted on his words.

"I would think they'd be a little upset, but not to the point where they would want to pick him up," said his wife, Tracy Cowan. "He doesn't have any malicious intent on anybody. He just talks very strongly about stuff. He says what's on his mind."

In the Facebook post, the man tells white police officers they "may not make it home" and when they do, they may "find dead bodies sprawled all over the house."

"I mean I don't agree with what he posted, but there are so many other people that posted," Cowan said.

Cowan said the shootings of two African-American men by white officers in Louisiana and Minnesota hurt her husband.

"A lot of this stuff that's going on really hurt him and he hadn't been able to sleep," Cowan said.

Cowan's a veteran. She said freedom of speech is something we fight for, but it goes both ways.

"This is just like an embarrassment, you know even with people making comments on his page saying he's a racist, he's a piece of this, you're an idiot and all this other stuff," Cowan said.

Cowan said her husband's personal experience may have also contributed to his views.

"And they pulled him over in someone's driveway, had him face down and stuck a gun in his face," Cowan said.

Racine police said that while the online threat came within hours of the Dallas attack that killed five police officers and wounded seven other officers, his officers demonstrated professionalism and great restraint in peacefully taking the subject of these threats into custody.