emoji-500x338Emojis are the fun and bright images that we accessorize our text messages with. Sometimes we use them exclusively, after all a picture is worth a thousand words, right? Unfortunately words hurt and words can get you into trouble, and so can emoji. It seems that a 17-year old teen has been arrested after posting emojis that appeared to threaten police officers.

Osiris Aristy from Bushwick, Brooklyn posted images of himself with guns. He also posted images of little emoji guns pointing at the heads of emoji police officers, and when those messages and emojis were spotted, he was arrested. It turns out that Aristy’s Facebook page was part of a routine police surveillance and he has since been charged with making terrorist threats.

The criminal complaint reads, “As a result of this conduct, the defendant has caused the informant and other New York City police officers to fear for their safety, for public safety, and to suffer alarm and annoyance.” Given that there was an incident last year with the shooting of two police officers in New York, we guess we can’t blame them for being extra vigilant.

However Aristy’s lawyer argues, “How can the police or anyone tell whether a social media threat is real or not? So many people use social media to vent, rant and generally attempt to impress anyone who might be bothered to listen.” In any case what do you guys think? Were the police right to act on this?

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