UIC student charged in threats to University of Chicago campus

By Abigale Svoboda

News editor

Jabari R. Dean, a 21-year-old student at the University of Illinois at Chicago was charged with transmitting a threat in interstate commerce Monday, according to a press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Northern District of Illinois.

DNAinfo reported that at Dean’s federal hearing Monday, his family said Dean’s threatening online post was a “stupid, silly, ignorant” decision. Prosecutors at the hearing reportedly said Dean did not intend to commit the crimes he threatened.

The Chicago Maroon reported no guns were found in Dean’s off-campus apartment.

Dean was arrested Monday afternoon in connection with threats made to the University of Chicago campus, according to a UIC press release.

Threats were not made to the UIC campus but the University still increased security, according to a statement from UIC.

“We are monitoring this situation closely and are concerned about the impact this has had on our campus and the University of Chicago,” UIC Chancellor Michael Amiridis, said in the statement.

University of Chicago President Robert Zimmer canceled classes and campus activities at the school’s Hyde Park campus on Sunday night, following an online threat made Sunday morning. Zimmer said the university was informed of the threat by FBI counterterrorism. The threat specifically mentioned targeting the campus quad at 10 a.m. Monday.

According to the Chicago Maroon, the commenter made threats on worldstarhiphop.com in response to the death of Laquan McDonald. The commenter threatened to shoot “approximately 16 white male students and staff.”

Zimmer requested “all non-medical faculty, students and non-essential staff are asked not to come to the Hyde Park campus on Monday, or to remain indoors as much as possible if they are on campus.”

Students living in university housing were asked to stay indoors until further notice. Additionally, classes and events at the University of Chicago Laboratory Schools, the University of Chicago Charter School campuses, the University libraries and the Quadrangle Club were canceled.

Zimmer released an update on Monday afternoon, acknowledging that a suspect was arrested. Zimmer said the security measures put in place will be maintained and the campus will remain closed Monday and he will update the community when further decisions are made.

The university’s medical center will remain open to patients but added security measures will be implemented.

Tom Hardy, University of Illinois spokesman could not be reached for immediate comment.

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