The Hatewatch blog is managed by the staff of the Intelligence Project of the Southern Poverty Law Center, an Alabama-based civil rights organization.

Alabama Man Pleads Guilty to Threatening Obama on Twitter

By Don Terry on March 19, 2013 - 4:46 pm, Posted in Antigovernment, Extremist Crime

A black Birmingham, Ala., man pleaded guilty in federal court Monday to threatening the life of President Obama in a series of tweets, which were intermingled among hundreds of unrelated musings about women, weed and wanting to die.

Jarvis Britton, 25, wrote the Twitter threats last year and now faces up to five years in prison when he is sentenced on June 20.

“Free Speech? Let’s Test This! Let’s Go Kill The President!” Britton tweeted on June 29, 2012.

That was followed the next day with, “@BarackObama I wish you were dead.”

But it wasn’t until “an anonymous female caller” contacted the authorities and informed them about the tweets that Secret Service agents interviewed Britton in his Birmingham home last July. According to court papers, Britton admitted posting the threatening statements but said he didn’t intend to harm the president.

He told the agents that he had been drinking and was “just acting stupid.’’ He even apologized for wasting the agents’ time. Britton was not arrested until nearly three months later, when the Secret Service Internet Threat Desk notified the Birmingham office that he was at it again.

“Let’s kill the president. F.E.A.R.,” he tweeted on Sept. 14, 2012.

F.E.A.R. is an acronym for an anti-government militia, Forever Enduring Always Ready. The group, largely composed of active-duty soldiers based at Fort Stewart in Georgia, was in the news around the time of Britton’s September tweets. Several of its members had been charged with killing two teenagers in an effort to keep their plot to overthrow the government and assassinate the president secret.

There is apparently no evidence that Britton had any connection to the militia.

On Sept. 19, Britton again hit the send button. “Serious question?” he tweeted. “If you knew about a terrorist group planning to kill the president, would you tell? I kinda wanna see if they can! F.E.A.R.”

About 48 hours later, agents were knocking on his door again. This time, he refused to talk to them. “I cooperated last time,’’ he said, according to court papers filed by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Birmingham. “This time I’m gonna test the system.”

The system arrested him that day.

“Any threat made on the life of the president of the United States is a serious matter that will be prosecuted,’’ acting U.S. Attorney John H. England said in a statement Monday following Britton’s guilty plea.

A month after his first visit from the Secret Service, on Aug. 24, Britton tweeted, “I sometimes wish I was dead. I think that would be so much easier. I took 10 pms last night and still woke up. Maybe I will need a whole bottle.”

Britton also tweeted about being on the government’s radar. On Aug. 28 he wrote, “If I disappear without a trace the secret service is holding me without a trial for talking about stuff I shouldn’t be talking about.”

While in custody, Britton underwent a court-ordered mental evaluation. A judge later ruled that he was competent to stand trial. The trial was scheduled for Monday, the day he pleaded guilty.

  • Erika

    Rey, i have a feeling that the Secret Service has determined that Terrible Ted, the Motor City Moron is too much of a coward to actually do anything to harm the President.

  • Reynardine

    I see he pled to it ( more coffee). But it’s interesting how the likes of Ted Nugent can do this every day with nothing worse than an interview with the Secret Service.

  • Reynardine

    If he was not expressing an intent, the chances are he is not going to be convicted. Commitment is another issue.

  • Erika

    Tyrant, i would say the same thing about a white person who repeatedly posted threats against the President on the United States on Twitter – almost everyone who posts threats like that have serious mental illnesses.

    and for your information, i oppose the death penalty for everyone.

  • Tobias A. Weissman

    This kid is only 25 years old and has so much hate in him, and mind you, he’s black. Oh God! This poor guy definitely is dealing with dark issues within himself. He needs help, not inprisonment.

  • Bee

    The system arrested him that day. lol love it–as far as Drones? raising your knowledge base would suit you right wing pathetic liars. 11 countries have drones go research that!

  • Brenda Black

    Wow, too many are buying into these old spooky tales that thrill and will have some to sell, and sell and sell. Another money hunger game. Some have done some studies and found about the lies that are usually given out freely.

  • EWeston

    Amazing, these days patriot means fighting a legal government, because.
    Your leftwing bonifides seem to be wearing rightwing troll sneakers.

  • Steve

    To say he wish someone was dead was a threat to Obama? Give me a break. Where’s the probable cause, or freedom of speech. Look what this country has come to. It makes the Soviet Union look like Disney Land. Talk about 1984. Jeeesss. Also, where’s the probable cause? This is a violation of this poor man’s 1st and 4th ammendment rights. Then again you know that the Federal Jury’s are rigged. They’re probably paid off by the White House.

  • Tyrant

    Erika you only see him with mental issues because he is black. If a White guy did this you would be screaming for the death penalty

  • Robert Inman

    If one can be arrested and sent up for being stupid, this guy has done it. What an ass.

  • concernedcitizen


    It’s greatly amusing to me when someone starts going on about their rights being taken away, when they cannot accurately label the rights that have in fact been taken away.

    If a right has been taken away then by all means state that right and under what law or constitutional protection it falls under. But when someone wakes up in the morning and decides to go to Walmart and then out to eat or visiting some of their underground militia friends then they all go out and purchase arms to stockpile in their mother’s basements I am still wondering what rights have been taken away?

    Then they decide they are going to print fake money and make up their own license plates, and harass their gay neighbors or attack police officers; still I am wondering what rights have been taken away?

    The mere fact that they can wake up and engage in such stupidity is proof positive of the many rights they are in possession of without interference from the government.

    So exactly what rights have been taken away? And how has it manifested itself in your life patriot?

  • Aron


    If you’re on the left, then my name is Cecil B DeMille.

    And I’m relatively certain I did not direct ‘The 10 Commandments.’

  • patriot

    Why do they call them rightwing? We are a group of democrats that is fed up with the government taking our rights away. Don’t label all of us patriots rightwing. Yes even some of us leftwing are on the patriot movement. SPLC is full of shit and a propaganda machine for those in control of the government. Go pack sand you hypocrites.

  • TimMid

    The Bush/Obama Global Terrorist Crime Cartel has given itself the power to murder any american they want with a predatory drone strike…Should’nt the terrorists Bush and Cheyney be arrested for the millions of innocent Iraq muslims they murdered with their contrived war?

  • concernedcitizen

    What is it that makes people think they can threaten the President of the Unites States? Is it because he is black that we are seeing so many idiots crawling out of the wood works making threats against President Obama?

    If this man came up missing it would probably be because he simply forgot his way home.

  • Erika

    sounds like this guy might possibly have mental issues.