Louisville police arrested a man who allegedly brandished a firearm on Facebook Live and told his audience that he would shoot a police officer if they paid him $30,000 in tips.
Louisville resident Cortez Lamont Edwards reportedly went live on Facebook on September 23 during riots after a Kentucky grand jury brought no charges against police officers in the shooting death of Breonna Taylor.
While livestreaming on Facebook, the 29-year-old allegedly brandished his firearm, an AR variant pistol, according to a criminal complaint filed by the U.S Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Kentucky.
Edwards reportedly told his audience that he was willing to shoot police officers working for the Louisville Metro Police Department who were patrolling a street in front of his residence during the unrest.
"Louisville needs healing and safety for its citizens, not armed felons seeking bids to shoot police," said U.S. Attorney Russell Coleman. "Federal law enforcement here will continue to respond as one to swiftly mitigate threats to our city."
Edwards, a convicted felon, was charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
On Sunday, federal agents and local police executed a search warrant on Edwards’ home. Authorities also state that they found the gun on the couch Edwards was sleeping on when they entered the residence — the same firearm Edwards brandished on the Facebook livestream.
“The defendant was located laying on a couch in the living room of his residence. A Glock model 19, 9-millimeter semi-automatic pistol, bearing serial number BPHA723, was located on the couch where Edwards was sleeping at the time of entry into the residence. At the time of entry into the living room, Edwards was the only adult present in that room and there [was] a toddler present in a playpen,” The U.S. Attorney’s office stated.
“Threats against law enforcement are unacceptable”, stated ATF Special Agent R. Shawn Morrow. “When you threaten police and brandish firearms, you can expect the attention of ATF. This morning ATF agents, with the immediate assistance of LMPD, HSI, U.S. Marshals, and the FBI executed a warrant and arrested an armed felon ensuring he wouldn’t carry out those threats.”
If convicted, Edwards faces a maximum sentence of no more than ten years in prison and a $250,000 fine, and three years of unsupervised release.