GREENSBORO, N.C. — A Greensboro teen has been charged with inciting a riot for using social media to encourage followers to meet at a mall to loot stores and attack police this weekend, according to police.
Tony LaShon Cleveland Jr., 17, of Greensboro, was taken into custody without incident at approximately 6 p.m. Tuesday.
Under North Carolina General Statute, it is a class 1 misdemeanor for any person to willfully incite or urge another to engage in a riot, so that as a result of such inciting or urging a riot to occur or a clear and present danger of a riot is created.
Multiple concerned citizens notified the Greensboro Police Department of the inflammatory posts beginning around noon today. Additional calls, social media messages and emails to GPD continued until the page was disabled shortly before 5 p.m., police said.
A FOX8 viewer emailed the newsroom a screenshot of the flier allegedly created by Cleveland.
Investigation by police linked the posts to Cleveland, a repeat offender who is currently on electronic monitoring for a breaking and entering charge.
“We are grateful to every person who let us know about this growing threat,” said Police Chief Wayne Scott. “The speed and volume of the calls, posts, and emails that came in send a strong message that the people of this city will not tolerate violence. We hope their voices — and this arrest — discourage everyone from committing these types of crimes.”
Scott further stated that the men and women of GPD are taking proactive measures to prevent a disturbance from occurring and “are prepared to quickly respond to an incident, should one occur.”