Did an anti-gun activist stage a ‘death threat’ for Twitter?

On Saturday, anti-gun activist Joseph Sakran posted to his Twitter alleging he had received a menacing “death threat” for his activism.

Anna Slatz Montreal QC

UPDATE: Joseph Sakran, speaking to the Baltimore Sun, has claimed that police advised him to delete the viral tweets which outlined the death threats he allegedly received at his home.  The Post Millennial reached out to Fairfax County Police, the local law enforcement jurisdiction surrounding Fairfax Station—where Sakran’s home is located—and media relations officer Lieutenant Webb was able to confirm that Sakran did not file a police report, nor did the Fairfax Police advise him to delete the viral tweet.

“That’s just not something we do,” Webb said.

The Fairfax County PD is the jurisdiction which surrounds Fairfax station, where Sakran’s home is located, and where the death threat was allegedly discovered.  This story continues to develop and information may change.

UPDATE: On January 27, Sakran appears to have deleted the tweet detailing the alleged death threat he received.

On Saturday, John Hopkins Hospital trauma surgeon Joseph Sakran posted to his Twitter alleging he had received a menacing “death threat” due to his gun-control activism.

The menacing threat, reading “The End is Near…” below a cartoon hand holding a gun, was allegedly found on Dr. Sakran’s car windshield. He posted two photos on Jan. 25 on Twitter. One shows the alleged threat below the wiper blade and one of Sakran holding it in his home.

Sakran went on to create an eight-post thread detailing his life history experiencing a gun-related injury, and notes his history of advocacy against gun violence. He also tagged the Twitter handles of gun control activist groups Moms Demand Action, Newtown Action Alliance, Sandy Hook Promise, and others.

He did not mention whether he reported the alleged death threat to the police in Fairfax County, Va.

Despite the thread going viral, gaining over 6,000 likes at the time of this article’s writing, some Twitter users observed discrepancies in Dr. Sakran’s allegation.

Visible in the reflection of the windshield appears to be the surrounding of a residential garage, which could indicate Dr. Sakran’s vehicle may have been parked indoors at the time the alleged death threat was discovered.

However, Dr. Sakran was interviewed by the Baltimore Sun where he asserts that he found it on his car “on or before” January 20 as he “made his way into work.” He says he took the paper from his windshield and placed it inside of his car, not believing it to be anything more than a flyer, and did not inspect it until “days later” while cleaning out the vehicle.

The interview was seemingly meant to offer clarity, but instead seemingly confirms that Dr. Sakran staged the death threat on his windshield in order to take a photo for Twitter.

Additionally, another user pointed out that the “after” photo of the note taken inside his home appears to have fewer creases and blemishes than the note photographed on his windshield.

Additional questions were raised about the tracing of the image to the device it was printed from. According to Snopes, a “majority” of colour printers are designed with the ability to produce a secret metadata called a Machine Identification Code embedded in all printed pages. The code enables for easier tracing of the source device a page was printed through.

However, according to publicly-available Fairfax police report records, Dr. Sakran does not appear to have filed any police report over the last week.

The Post Millennial reached out to Dr. Sakran for comment, but has not heard back in time for publication. This is an ongoing story and may be updated with additional details.


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