Racine Circuit Court Commissioner Alice Rudebusch Monday assigned a $75,000 cash bond to Byron Cowan after police say he made “credible” threats against local law enforcement and their families.
He is charged with one felony count each of solicitation of threats to law enforcement as a hate crime and making terrorist threats as a hate crime and one misdemeanor count of disorderly conduct.
The post first appeared on Facebook at 8:19 a.m. July 7 and read:
“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.”
Investigators also witnessed the post, and say Cowan followed up three minutes later by saying, “If you don’t know how to use a gun, I will teach you. Strap the (expletive) up. Shoot first,” and “Change only through war and destruction. You kill our children, we return the favor, shoot first.”
Officers discovered that Cowan still lives in Racine and confronted him at his home in the 1200 block of Grove Avenue. He was ordered to the ground, the complaint reads, and taken into custody without further incident.
Cowan will next be in court July 20 for his preliminary hearing. If he is convicted of all charges, he faces up to almost 10 years in prison and/or up to $21,000 in fines.