America has become a dangerous place for all Americans.
An Eastern Kentucky man is accused of “Zoom-bombing” a Louisiana elementary school’s virtual classroom in 2020 during which he made racial threats that made students cover their ears and cry.
Brian Adams, 22, of Paintsville, was indicted by a New Orleans federal grand jury for transmitting threatening communications to students and staff of a fifth grade class at Laureate Academy Charter School in Harvey, Louisiana, according to federal court records and a news release.
Adams made a verbal statement in which he used a racial slur multiple times and threatened to hang Black people.
In New Orleans on Tuesday, U.S. Attorney Duane A. Evans announced that Adams was indicted on June 30 by a federal grand jury for communication of interstate threats to kidnap or injure. At the time of the alleged incident, the school was conducting class virtually over Zoom due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a federal court news release said.
The grand jury also made a special finding that Adams selected the fifth-grade class as the object of his threat because of the actual and perceived race of the students and teachers, according to the release.
The FBI in 2020 issued a warning that as large numbers of people turned to video-teleconferencing platforms to stay connected in the wake of COVID-19, reports of video teleconferencing hijacking, also called “Zoom-bombing,” were emerging nationwide.
The FBI had received multiple reports of conferences being disrupted by pornographic or hate images and threatening language. Nola.com reported on the case involving the Kentucky man Wednesday, quoting prosecutors as saying students covered their eyes and ears or started crying.
In December, citing documents prosecutors filed at New Orleans’ federal courthouse, nola.com reported that Adams allegedly “admitted” to the racist comments and threats he made to the students at Laureate Academy and to posting a YouTube video of the Zoom-bombing.
“Teachers at one point booted Adams from the virtual classroom and created another, but he managed to log into that one as well and continued the abuse before they permanently removed him, prosecutors alleged in a search warrant,” nola.com said.
As a result of the Zoom-bombing, Laureate Academy canceled classes for 2 1/2 days, the media outlet reported.
“The following day, two students notified administrators of a YouTube video showing Adams’ purported Zoom-bombing.
The video was posted on a page called ‘Arch angel gaming’ and contained footage of Google searches for images of swastikas,” nola.com reported. On Nov. 3 2021, agents raided Adams’ father’s home in Paintsville, where he lived and was using an internet connection.
They seized electronics, nola.com reported. If convicted of the offense, Adams faces a maximum sentence of 5 years, a fine of up to $250,000, and up to 1 year of supervised release, the federal news release said.