A Philadelphia City Council staffer is taking heat from his boss after posting a message to Facebook that appears to advocate vigilante justice as response to the “scary clown” threats recently made online against the Philadelphia School District.
On Monday, Patrick Jones, director of constituent services for City Councilwoman Cindy Bass, wrote, “If you have a gun, here’s a chance to use it for something much better than what you’ve been using it for.”
“You see a clown pull up with a weapon … (you know what to do next).”
After a reporter alerted Bass to the post, she said she was disturbed and intended to discipline Jones. She also said she would be bringing it up to her entire staff to refresh them on the do’s and don’ts of social media.
“In no way, shape or form have we ever condoned violence against anyone at any time,” said Bass.
Jones declined comment. Bass said her staffer told her he never intended to “incite, advocate or condone” violence.
In a statement, police said they have “identified” a 13 year-old girl as the person behind the Instagram posts threatening violence at Philadelphia schools.
The juvenile, who attends a “local school,” told police the post was a “prank,” and that she had no “intent to harm anyone,” according to the release.
Police have not arrested the girl. The department, along with the School District of Philadelphia’s Office of School Safety and federal law enforcement, will continue to investigate to “ensure the safety of our children, our schools and the surrounding communities.”
Similar online threats about a “scary clown” have cropped up in other cities, but nothing has materialized from them.