Federal charges against Heiskell man for inciting a riot, civil disorder

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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — The U.S. Attorney’s Office has charged 18-year-old Dominic Brown of Heiskell with inciting a riot and civil disorder.

Allegedly, Brown was attempting to organize a riot at West Town Mall from messages he had posted on his Snapchat account.

They say Brown was arrested on Monday, and made his initial appearance in the U.S. District Court in Knoxville on Monday as well.

Allegations against Brown

According to allegations made in the June 4 complaint, on May 30, 2020, Brown posted messages on his Snapchat account that were intended to incite and organize a riot at the West Town Mall in Knoxville.

In one post, Brown stated, “we are not each other’s enemy only enemy is 12,” (the number “12” is slang term that means law enforcement officers).

In another post, Brown stated the following regarding a published news story that law enforcement officers were taking threats to West Town Mall seriously: “ok bet lol. [expletive] they ain stopping [expletive] haha I done got felonies and y’all ain stop [expletive] [expletive] outta here.”

Brown also made two additional posts to his Snapchat account which contained images depicting maps of the interior of West Town Mall and made an additional post which stated in part, “If we get 300 people we can raid the mall and everything in there….”

According to the complaint, Brown also posted instructions to others and updates of his own preparations for the riot via his Snapchat account. In one post, Brown instructed, “be there by 10:30, lace your shoes, wear masks and gloves. Bring hammers bricks whatever you want.”

In another post, Brown stated, “clique up before all y’all get active so we all show up at once [expletive] the waiting a hour on slow pokes clear your agenda if you comin. 10:30.”

The complaint also alleges that, on May 31, Brown was observed by law enforcement officers participating in a civil disorder in the downtown area of Market Square. Law enforcement officers observed Brown picking up a trash can lid filled with an unknown liquid and striking a law enforcement officer in the head while the officer was seated in a police vehicle. Brown attempted to flee, but was ultimately arrested by Knoxville police officers.

U.S. Attorney J. Douglas Overbey and FBI Special Agent in Charge Joseph E. Carrico

These charges are in result of an investigation by the FBI Knoxville Field Office, along with assistance from the Knoxville Police Department.

The charges in the complaint are merely accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

Brown’s arrest details from May 31 incident

KPD says the group then traveled north on Gay Street, where one person threw an object into a police SUV, hitting an officer in the head. The officer was uninjured. The 18-year-old male suspect, later identified as Dominic Brown, was then arrested and charged with assault, disorderly conduct, evading arrest, resisting arrest and inciting a riot.

This is a developing story, we will update you as this case and charges move forward.

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