On Friday, July 8 2016 Racine Police became aware of threats against officers and their families. These threats had been posted to social media. Investigators learned that the subject posting the threats may live in the city of Racine. The Racine Police Department began receiving tips from concerned citizens and other law enforcement agencies across the country regarding these threats.
One of the threats included the following: “Be first to shoot first. I encourage every Black man in America to strap up. It is clear. I encourage every white officer to kiss there love ones goodbye. Every time you leave the house. Tell them you love them; because you may not make it home. Also if you do make it home. You may find there dead bodies sprawled all over the house. This is war were tired. I don’t care who I offend I don’t have any more words but bullets. It’s time to start going into there homes and killing there families. Not (expletive) playing or smiling.”
Upon further investigation police were able to determine that the suspect, Byron L. Cowan was a resident of Racine. Further posts and comments made by Cowan were discovered reiterating threats made in the above post. Members of the detective bureau assisted by the local FBI task force located and detained Cowan without incident at his home. Cowan was transported to the Racine Police Department pending further investigation. After consulting with the District Attorney, Cowan was arrested for the above mentioned charges.
Chief Howell issued the following statement regarding this incident:
“While threatened with the use deadly force against the law enforcement community at-large (within hours of the assassination of 5 officers in Dallas TX), local officers and investigators demonstrated a high degree of professionalism and great restraint in peacefully taking the subject of these threats into custody without incident. I would like to personally thank each and every one who supported our department in providing the critical and timely information that enabled our members to bring this matter to a peaceful resolution.”
Racine Police investigators are interested in any additional information that anyone may have about this crime. Any witnesses, or citizens with information, are urged to call the Racine Police Department Investigations Unit at (262) 635-7756.
Those who wish to remain anonymous may contact Crimestoppers at (262) 636-9330, or text 274637 (CRIMES). Text message should begin with RACS.