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Beahen said Tuesday that police “got a lead this morning as to who created” the page. He said the lead does not point to Sagehorn, but added that Sagehorn also could be charged for his tweet.
A felony charge would be applicable if someone is accused of saying something that is “criminally harmful,” Beahen said. “You have to prove intent, [that the accused] was fully aware that harm would occur,” he said.
Alternatively, a misdemeanor of disorderly conduct might be filed, the chief said. “We’ll let the county attorney decide.”
Police have turned the case over the Hennepin County attorney’s office for consideration of charges.
Sagehorn was originally suspended for five days following his tweet, then the suspension was extended to 10 days, then about two months, Bezek said.
An online petition in defense of Sagehorn has drawn several thousand signatures. And some took to Twitter, using the hashtag #freereid, to express support for him.
Bezek, who planned to meet with Sagehorn’s family late Tuesday, said, “From what I understand, it’s a good family, a good kid. … He made a bad mistake here.”
He said technology is a powerful educational tool that “can also cause so much harm. We’ve just given it to them without the proper training. You don’t let a kid drive a car, shoot guns without the proper training.”
Staff writer Colleen Kelly contributed to this report. firstname.lastname@example.org • 612-673-4482 email@example.com