A student at Lake Superior State University, Lucas Gerhard, took a photograph of his AR-15 rifle and sent it to a group of friends on Snapchat in August. The police arrested him and the Chippewa County prosecutor charged him with making a terrorist threat and “Use of a computer to commit a crime computer/internet use/harassment/threats.” The only evidence presented so far is that he posted a photo of his legally owned property. Let that sink in. He’s facing a felony with a maximum penalty of 20 years, apparently for this photo…
Lucas Gerhard followed the rules. He checked his weapon and ammunition in with the campus public safety department on the same day he arrived at school. Lake Superior State University Director of Communication, Jason Wenglikowski, said, “…our students were never in danger; staff, faculty… no one was in danger.” Apparently some student told police Lucas had, “…extreme political views…” If you have been paying attention in the last 12 years, you know the university definition of “Extreme Political Views” is anyone to the right of Joseph Stalin.
Lucas Gerhard, Eagle Scout and criminal justice student, spent 83 days in jail before being released on bond. That’s 83 days in jail, without a conviction, for posting a photo of his legally owned property.
Gerhard is scheduled to stand trial in March. Even if he is found innocent (which he should be if there is even a gasp of justice left), what are the odds he’ll ever be able to get a job in law enforcement?
State Representative John Reilly (R) said, “It’s a travesty that the county prosecutor charged him with any crime, for something that is clearly and undeniably protected speech under the First Amendment.” The senseless arrest of Luke Gerhard led State Representative Reilly to introduce a bill that would narrow the definition of a terrorism threat. Reilly correctly stated, “We can’t rely on common sense anymore.”
There is a GoFundMe to help Lucas Gerhard with his legal fees, https://www.gofundme.com/f/justice-for-lucas-g. He may need it.
Here is what Prosecuting Attorney Robert Stratton had to say on the matter (emphasis and retorts are mine):
Recently, an ongoing court case has been in the news at the state and even national level. Lawmakers who have received only a small portion of the evidence in a case in which a student is charged with threatening an act of terrorism against local students have decided to make political hay with that information. The information in the media on this case is woefully incomplete and contains some outright lies.
[So, the media lied to make a gun owner on a college campus look LESS guilty? Doubt.]
Unfortunately, the Prosecutor’s Office has the duty to not only ensure the defendant’s 2nd Amendment right is upheld, but also the defendant’s 6th amendment right to a fair trial. The defendant is of course presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
[Which is why you threw him in jail for 83 days? Because you presumed he was innocent? Doubt.]
This means that I cannot comment on the facts of the case as it has not gone to trial yet. Revealing material facts of the case to the media is both an ethical violation and a Constitutional violation. All that I can say, is that if the facts were what the media is portraying, this case would have never been charged by my office. What you have heard is a small part of the overall case that will be presented to a jury in April. I ask that if you are interested in attending the trial that you do as the trial is open to the Public and you will be able to see the facts and all the evidence.
The prosecutor’s office is tasked simultaneously with protecting the community through law enforcement, and with upholding all of the Constitutional rights of citizens. Our children have the right to be safe in school. Our citizens have the right to defend themselves. Our citizens have the right to engage in political debate – even heated political debate. Nobody has the right to threaten others with firearms over political differences.
This county is and always will be a sanctuary for the second amendment of the United States Constitution and Article 1 Section 6 of the Michigan constitution. My office will continue to cherish that right and uphold it. My office will also continue to stand up for all victims regardless of their political backgrounds. A jury is not allowed to begin deliberations until all of the facts are presented. That is one of the most basic guarantees of the Constitutions as well – a fair trial. I would appreciate it if the media and lawmakers would observe this requirement. When all of the facts are heard and seen, then it is appropriate to judge a case. Not before.
[Rob, you already judged the case by throwing Lucas Gerhard in jail for 83 days.]
According to the Chippewa County website, https://www.chippewacountymi.gov/proscuting-attorney, here is the contact information for the prosecutor (in case you feel like expressing yourself civilly):
Chippewa County Prosecuting Attorney, Robert L. Stratton III
325 Court Street
Sault Ste. Marie, MI 49783
Hey, maybe Chippewa County Prosecuting Attorney, Robert Stratton, does have some super potent, double secret, damning evidence showing that the Eagle Scout and student of criminal justice is a terrorist. Maybe. Then again, maybe his accusers are a bunch of intolerant Leftholes (like many others across the nation) willing to use any means to silence voices they don’t like. Speaking of accusers, I didn’t notice any names in the articles I saw. Did anyone else find any named accusers or any named witnesses? If the story is newsworthy, why aren’t the names of the accusers or witnesses mentioned? The spokesperson for the school already said no one was in danger. Shouldn’t the noble heroes saving us all from the imminent threat of Snapchat posts be mentioned?
Now that Lucas has been thrown in jail. Do you think he will be more careful about what he posts on social media? Do you think his like-minded friends will be more careful about what they post on social media? Do you think, maybe, that might be the point? If people with “extreme political views” like support for Second Amendment rights can be driven from social media under threat of jail and prison, who benefits from that?
What do I know? I’m Justa Gaibroh.