NY cops shooter was almost tracked after posting threats to avenge Brown and Garner
Ismaaiyl Brinsley, a 28-year-old Afro-American, who was
identified as the shooter by police, posted a picture of an
automatic pistol and threatening messages on Instagram. They bore
hashtags with the names of Eric Garner and Michael Brown, who
were killed by police officers who were themselves later
acquitted, sparking mass protests against police brutality across
“I’m Putting Wings on Pigs Today,” Brinsley wrote. “They Take 1 Of Ours … Let’s Take 2 of Theirs.”
— RT (@RT_com) December 20, 2014
Early Saturday morning, hours before the attack on the police
officers, Brinsley shot and seriously wounded a woman, presumably
his ex-girlfriend, in Baltimore. He stole her phone and posted
the threats from her Instagram account, Commissioner William
Bratton of the New York City Police Department said at a press
It was the victim’s mother who first noticed the posts and alerted Baltimore police, who were able to track the phone in the 70th precinct of New York and pass that information together with Brinsley’s description on to the NYPD.
— NYPD NEWS (@NYPDnews) December 21, 2014
"At approximately2:45 in the afternoon, Baltimore authorities sent a fax, a wanted flyer, to the NYPD and other agencies," Bratton said. "Tragically, this was essentially at the same time as our officers were being ambushed and murdered by Brinsley".
Instagram said Saturday it was quick to take down Brinsley's posts as soon as the network became aware of them, apparently after they went viral in the wake of the murder, Reuters reported. Screenshots of the posts are circulating online.
Both the families of Eric Garner and Michael Brown, whose deaths Brinsley was apparently threatening to avenge, as gathered from his Instagram posts, have condemned the killings of police officers.
“I have spoken to the Garner family and we are outraged by
the early reports of the police killed in Brooklyn today,”
civil rights advocate Reverend Al Sharpton said in a
statement. “Any use of the names of Eric Garner and
Michael Brown, in connection with any violence or killing of
police, is reprehensible and against the pursuit of justice in
A statement released Saturday by the Parks & Crump law firm says Brown's family rejects "any kind of violence directed toward members of law enforcement. It cannot be tolerated," AP reported.