"Police officers' heads on sticks": Shocking Facebook threat
AUSTRALIAN Federal Police investigators are looking into a Facebook post calling for police beheadings that was shared with an audience of more than 17,000 social media users.
The threatening post, which suggested offering "rewards for police officers' heads on sticks", was published to popular public group Australians Filming Police on Saturday.
It was live three days before being removed after both Facebook and the AFP received numerous complaints.
"Is this the answer?" The now-removed post began. "Free Facebook live sessions on how to make napalm, mustard gas and 3D print guns as well as make own ammo next on the cards, the people have a right to protect themselves with equal force from attackers."
The page, which is marked as "verified" by Facebook, paints police as "attackers" and regularly labels officers "corrupt cops". The shocking post went on to suggest specific threats against police officers.
"Anyone keen on crowd-funding a campaign for us to be able to offer rewards to police officers heads on sticks ... we can use them to show other corrupt overhanded police that it isn't OK."
The post was shared to other Facebook groups by shocked followers encouraging people to report the content to both Facebook and the AFP.
A spokeswoman for Facebook confirmed the post had been removed on Tuesday morning "for violating our policies around inciting crimes and promoting violence".
Facebook said it was currently investigating the page's "grey badge verification".
News.com.au has attempted to contact the page's administrator.
An AFP spokesman told news.com.au the agency was looking into the post after receiving complaints.
"The AFP is aware of this post and is considering the content," a statement sent to news.com.au read. "We are also aware that the post has been reported to Facebook to assess against their own terms and conditions."
The shocking post follows heightened calls for a crackdown on violence against police by unions representing state police services.
In an interview with 2GB earlier this month, NSW Police Association president Scott Weber called for harsher penalties for people who assault officers.
"If they assault a police officer, what are they going to do with you and your family? What are they going to do to the family walking down the street? These people need to be taken off the street and get a custodial sentence," he said.
In response to a recent Melbourne police bashing where the teenage offender was bailed after four days, Police Association of Victoria secretary Wayne Gatt said: "If you don't protect your police, what hope has the community got? Is this what we call 'the full force of the law'?"
Threatening harm to a Commonwealth public official carries a maximum penalty of nine years' imprisonment.