Black activist admits making Twitter threats against black Kean students
A former Kean University student charged with making threats targeting black students on campus via a series of Twitter posts has pleaded guilty to creating a false public alarm, authorities said Monday.
If the court approves the recommended penalties during sentencing, Kayla-Simone McKelvey, who is black herself, could face up to 90 days in Union County Jail and approximately $82,000 in restitution to cover the costs of the police response and heightened security at Kean as a result of the incident, acting Union County Prosecutor Grace H. Park said in a statement Monday.
McKelvey, 25, of Union, appeared before state Superior Court Judge William Daniel Monday. Earlier this year, she applied for entry into a pre-yrial Intervention program. PTI is a probation program for first-time offenders that could enable the court to completely remove the charges once the terms are completed. A judge, however, denied PTI for McKelvey.
Authorities say that on Nov. 17, 2015, McKelvey left a student rally against racial crimes and went off to a computer station inside a library. Once there, police say, she created an anonymous Twitter account that she used to tweet the threats.
McKelvey then returned to the rally, according to police, and helped spread the word among students about the threats. Several threats were tweeted against black students that claimed there was a bomb on campus. Another read, “I will shoot any black person i see at kean university (sic).” Investigators determined that there was no plan to follow through with any of the threats.
McKelvey is scheduled for sentencing on June 17 before state Superior Court Judge Robert J. Mega.
Toniann Antonelli is a social content producer for NJ 101.5. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, or on Twitter @ToniRadio1015.