Officials respond after Snapchat threat comes to light
CHATHAM, Ill. (WICS) —
Backlash continues in Chatham over a threat made on Snapchat, with the caption "Out here hunting the black community to take there [sic] rights away from them."
Initially, the Chatham Police Department said there was not an ongoing investigation because their higher up only recently learned about it before Newschannel 20 asked asked.
Some parents said they're angry and hurt by the contents of that post. They also said they're confused as to why the school system said they alerted law officials last Thursday when some Chatham Police supervisors only found out Tuesday evening, nearly a week after.
That post turned into a frustrating situation for one Chatham resident, Brandon Winters.
"The supervisor on duty should know exactly what's going on, especially when it's dealing with a school, a threat, and racial," Winters said.
Winters also said he is confused by how officials handled receiving the threat. He was told Tuesday evening that some in the police department had only been informed Tuesday evening, despite the school having said they alerted an officer, who was working at the school, last Thursday.
"The lack of communication between the officer at the school, the Deputy Chief and the Chief of Police and its mind boggling that the Chief of Police doesn't know what's going on in his community," Winters said.
In a press release from Dr. Wood, the Ball-Chatham Superintendent, he said the school notified local law enforcement about the threat, something their Safety and Security Director Randy Allen confirms. That press release was sent out Tuesday afternoon.
"Something that we think is a crime that can be an arrest perhaps when it's finished and we need more investigative work done, that's the first call we make is to law enforcement," Allen said.
When asked if they made a call last Thursday morning, Allen said yes and that he alerted local authorities Thursday morning.
But some higher up officials from the Chatham Police Department said Tuesday was the first they had heard of it, which is nearly a week after when Allen said the threat was initially reported.
"The officer wouldn't necessarily in every situation contact the Chief or the Deputy Chief to let them know everything that goes on," Chief Deputy of Chatham Police, Scott Tarter said.
When asked if the officers have to alert the Chief or Chief Deputy about threats such as these, Tarter said they do not have to call them directly, which is not atypical.
Tarter did confirm an officer was made aware of the threatening post last week, however based on where it was sent, it was out of their jurisdiction.
He also said to his knowledge, the school district also did not call the Sangamon County Sheriff’s Office, Tater said he was the one to have called them.
"I informed the Sangamon County's Sheriff's department today, this morning," Tarter said.
Tarter said the threat has now been handed off to the Sangamon County Sheriff’s Office. He also said they wanted more details about the threat after initially finding out about it.