Facebook User Posts White Supremacist Threat — Police Say Black Man Is Responsible

Police have revealed that the culprit behind the latest hate crime hoax — which involved a racist and violent threat against Black people attending an Alabama fair — is an 18-year-old Black man.

The suspect is being accused of writing a Facebook post threatening to kill black people, telling fair attendees to “be prepared.”

According to reporting from AL.com, the Facebook user’s post claimed that he and his friends “are coming to [the] Opelika Alabama fair to kill every NEGRO that we lay eye contact on so be prepared. WHITE POWER.”

The outlet also noted that the poster’s profile included the Confederate battle flag.

Opelika police have stated that they began their investigation on September 19 after officers learned of the “racially inflammatory” post which included a threat to “shoot attendees of a certain demographic at the upcoming Lee County Fair.”

The Opelika Police Department also noted that it “takes threats like these very seriously” and that they would “provide additional officers for security to ensure the safety of all fair attendees.”

Just one day after starting the investigation, police announced that they had found a suspect.

“Officials were able to trace the social media account to a residence in Lafayette, AL,” police stated. “Through the investigation, 18-year-old Pharrell Smith was developed as a suspect.”

Smith was later arrested on “unrelated charges” by Lafayette police on October 6. According to Opelika police, when Smith is released from the custody of Lafayette police, he will be extradited to Lee County to be arrested on a charge of making a terroristic threat.

Police also announced that anyone with information regarding the case can contact the Opelika Police Department Detective Division at 334-705-5220 or the Secret Witness Hotline at 334-745-8665. Anonymous tips can also be submitted via the Opelika Police Mobile App.

This is just the latest in a long line of hate crimes that ended up being hoaxes, with the Jussie Smollett hoax being one of the most prominent cases. In January 2019, Smollett claimed that he had been attacked at 2:00 a.m. in Chicago by two men wearing MAGA hats — who he said had yelled “this is MAGA country,” poured bleach on him and put a noose around his neck.