police:-teens-behind-post-targeting-black-owned-marin-county-business

Tiburon Peninsula teens have been linked to an Instagram post threatening to “raid” a Black-owned business if Joe Biden won the presidential election, authorities announced Friday.

Tiburon police concluded a 14-year-old from Belvedere and a 13-year-old from Tiburon were responsible for creating a fake account and making the post, said Laurie Nilsen, police spokesperson. The teens’ names were not released.

“The two juveniles admitted to making the post in an effort to attract more followers to the page,” a press release read. “The name associated with the fake account had no involvement in the page or the posting.”

District Attorney Lori Frugoli determined the incident does not constitute a hate crime, Nilsen said. No charges will be filed.

“I don’t think there are any charges because the boys’ intention were really immature and irresponsible,” Nilsen said. “But they were not criminal.”

The post targeted Yema, a shop in downtown Tiburon. The boutique was at the center of a community controversy in August, after merchants doing late-night inventory squared off with police, who questioned their presence in the store at that hour.

The incident led to widespread criticism of the police department and the resignation of supervising sergeant, Michael Blasi. Police chief Michael Cronin, who said his retirement was long planned, stepped down a short time later.

Vice Mayor Holli Thier said hateful or threatening rhetoric cannot be tolerated in the community.

“We all need to do a better job to educate our children that it’s not OK to post things on social media that can be construed as offensive,” Thier said. “The fact the youth involved are still young gives me hope that there is still time to teach them that this is not appropriate.”

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By Kelley Wheeler

Kelley Wheeler is a Metro reporter covering political issues and general assignments. A second-generation journalist, worked with all major news outlet, she holds a vast expeirience. Kelley is a graduate of USC with degrees in journalism and English literature. She is a recipient of Yale’s Poynter Fellowship in Journalism.

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