Arthur Jordan wanted to be on CNN and saw shooting Buffalo police officers as his ticket to fame, according to prosecutors.
Just a week after the police shootings in Dallas, Jordan, a local gang member, is in police custody, accused of posting a Facebook message threatening police here.
The message, according to prosecutors, was “Let’s start killin’ police. Let’s see how dey like it.”
“He’s a gangbanger,” Police Commissioner Daniel Derenda said Friday. “He is known to Buffalo police and other law enforcement.”
Derenda said Jordan, a member of the Central Park Gang, was arrested late Thursday after an extensive search and was found with a loaded .380 caliber handgun in his possession.
Prosecutors said Jordan has spoken to investigators and told them of his desire to appear on national TV and how he saw killing police as the way to accomplish his goal.
“He would have been famous, he would have been on CNN,” said U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul Jr.
The news of Jordan’s arrest came just a week after two African-American men died at the hands of police, one in Louisiana, the other in Minnesota, and after five Dallas police officers were killed by a lone black man. The gunman was later killed by police.
Hochul said there were indications at the time of Jordan’s arrest that he was preparing to carry out his plans. Prosecutors also believe he may have targeted a specific officer involved in investigations of his gang.
The criminal complaint against Jordan indicates he spoke with FBI agents after his arrest and talked openly of his plans to kill police.
“You see the news,” Jordan told the FBI, according to court papers. “I would’ve been all over the news if I would have done what I was thinking about. You don’t even want to know what I was thinking about.”
Jordan, according to the complaint, at one point told investigators they looked scared.
“I should’ve waited at the door for you,” he reportedly told them. “I wanted to go out on CNN. I had my chance.”
The FBI says Jordan admitted posting the Facebook message, as well as others, and told them he was mad about what was happening across the country.
“It’s not about here,” he told them, according to court papers.
Investigators declined to comment Friday on the possibility that others may have been involved in Jordan’s plot, but they confirmed the investigation is continuing. They also indicated other threats are being looked at.
“You may see us up here again,” Adam S. Cohen, special agent in charge of the FBI in Buffalo, said of Friday’s news conference.
Court papers indicate investigators first saw the Facebook message on July 7, just two days after the shooting of Alton Sterling at the hands of police in Louisiana, and one day after Philando Castile was shot and killed by a police officer in Minnesota.
Later that day, FBI agents spoke with Jordan’s father and indicated he also confirmed his son’s Facebook messages. Agents say he also told them he encouraged his son to remove them.
After a search that lasted nearly seven days, investigators finally found Jordan. They claim his loaded firearm was wrapped in a washcloth and stored in one of his rear jeans pockets.
When Buffalo police tried to arrest him, Jordan refused to cooperate and, according to the FBI, had to be physically subdued.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Wei Xiang said Jordan spoke to investigators about his motive and intent and, at one point, said his anger was not directed specifically at Buffalo police, but rather at police across the country.
“This was potentially an outlet for him,” Xiang told reporters.
At the time of his arrest, Jordan was charged with criminal possession of a weapon, obstructing governmental administration and resisting arrest. On Friday, a new charge – interstate communication of threat to injure – was added by prosecutors.
The investigation into Jordan was led by the FBI’s Safe Streets Task Force. He will be arraigned in federal court at a later date.