After the Supreme Court’s decision of blocking Roe v. Wade, putting in danger the rights of millions of women in the country who may need an abortion, many were, understandably, very upset. And what do you do when you’re upset nowadays? Take it to Twitter. That’s what a woman from Dallas did, to then be faced with feds at her front door for her tweets.
The infamous now deleted tweet read “Burn every … government building down right … now. Slaughter them all”, hours after the Court’s decision was announced to the public. The publication only had 31 likes and 8 retweets, so it’s not like it had gone viral and it was easy to spot.
Less than a week later, two police officers and a Department of Homeland Security special agent knocked on her door with a warning letter.
Madeline Walker, residing in Dallas, was in complete shock at the turn of events and the words she read. “You are advised as of the date of this letter to cease and desist in any conduct deemed harassing/threatening in nature, when communicating to or about the federal government,” the letter said. “Failure to comply with this request could result in the filing of criminal charges.”
Walker stated in an interview for Jezebel that she was not really planning on burning down any buildings, she was just expressing how upset she was after that decision. She did not intend for her words to be taken seriously, or for the actual government to read them.
A special agent for DHS, Joshua Henry, verified that the letter is real and was delivered to her on a Thursday at 11:30 am. The director of communication of the Federal Protective Service, Robert Sperling, also confirmed to The Dallas Morning News that the letter, which had been circulating on Twitter, is real.
“Obviously, I’m not trying to go to prison over this,” she said in her interview for Jezebel. “There could’ve been a better way for me to go about it, actively going to protest or speaking out in public or things like that. I guess maybe Twitter wasn’t exactly the best idea to pull out the stops with.”
After posting the letter on her Twitter, which did in fact go viral, she had to switch her account to private to avoid any further problems. “This was such a nice way to get woken up this morning. 4 cops banging on my door,” Walker wrote in the deleted tweet.
“Reminding everyone that Pastor Dillon Awes of Stedfast Baptist Church in Fort Worth is allowed to preach that gay people should be ‘lined up against the wall and shot in the back of the head.’ when people reported him to the police they said, ‘free speech,’” Walker also wrote in reply to her original deleted tweet.
Many were outraged at the government’s actions, claiming they should put the same energy into “monitoring and warning the white nationalists and misogynists who shoot up our schools, nightclubs, and places of worship”, according to one of the replies.
Joshua Henry warned that Walker sharing the letter could bring her more trouble. “She’s kind of taking it as a joke,” he stated. “She’s not remorseful about these statements, so that’ll be presented to a United States Attorney and they’ll make a decision on that.”
There is no further information on other decisions taken by the government after Walker’s actions. This whole situation left a bitter feeling to most, since it is an eerie glimpse at just how much the authorities are really monitoring from what we post online.