MIAMI (CBSMiami) – A Christopher Columbus High School student was arrested for an offensive homemade music video online that some found to be threatening.
The 16-year-old has been charged with posting a “written threat to kill or do bodily injury.”
“Everyone is talking about it,” Christopher Columbus High School Junior Matthew Mornoy said. “The teachers are saying the kid shouldn’t have done that.”
The investigation began when Miami police said they were contacted about a possible social threat against La Salle High School. They said a “witness from La Salle High School received the social media video through an anonymous student.”
Another student has some advice for his classmate.
“Start over again. I just wish him luck. I know he’s going through a hard time,” Franco Cini said.
In the video the teen, who appears to be wearing a Columbus High School shirt, is lip-syncing to a rap song. As the sounds of gunshots go off on the track, the student, making a gun gesture, eliminates graphics with names of high schools in the area, including Marjory Stoneman Douglas.
The student made the video on the social media app TikTok and shared it online.
Miami police went to the teen’s home and spoke to him and his parents.
Christopher Columbus High School officials said in a statement that:
As a school, we take this matter very seriously and do not condone this type of behavior. There has been full cooperation from all parties involved. Rest assured that the matter is being handled appropriately. As always, the security and safety of our students is our utmost priority.”
The school also announced that they had “taken the proper disciplinary actions” and that the student was “suspended pending a thorough investigation.”
Miami police turned their findings over to the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office which determined “the juveniles social media post was perceived as a threat and was enough to make an arrest.”
According To Florida Statute 836.10, “Any person who makes, posts, or transmits a threat in a writing or other record, including an electronic record, to conduct a mass shooting or an act of terrorism, in any manner that would allow another person to view the threat, commits a felony of the second degree.”
The family of the teen released a statement through their attorney.
“We are both saddened and disappointed by the events which have led to the arrest of our son. The images depicted in the video at issue do not represent the values we have instilled in him, nor are they indicative of who he is as a person. We are cognizant of the fact that many families in our community, who have suffered through unspeakable tragedies, may be particularly sensitive to the content of the video. We are truly and deeply sorry if this event has caused additional emotional distress for those families. Nonetheless, we also wish to emphasize that at no time was our son contemplating the commission of an act of violence. There is no story here as it pertains to anyone EVER having been in ANY degree of danger from him. If there is a story to be told or a lesson to be learned from this, it is that social media can convert a momentary lapse in judgement by a child into a scandal that adversely affects the lives of many. Moreover, while this video was undoubtedly insensitive and misguided, we do not believe that the content rises to the level of a crime. We are confident that once the state attorney has completed their investigation they will arrive at the same conclusion. We also wish to thank our family and friends for the enormous outpouring of support we have received from them over the last 48 hours. Their support, in conjunction with our faith in God, is getting us through this difficult time.”