Navajo Nation applauds Page, Arizona Police Department for arrest in threatening social media post incident

(Photo: Navajo Nation Council)

Press Pool

Facebook post heavily associated Navajo citizens with the coronavirus and advocated violence towards Navajo people to stop the spread of the virus in Page, Arizona

News Release

24th Navajo Nation Council - Office of the Speaker

Responding to reports of a social media post on Facebook threatening Navajo tribal members, the Page Police Department opened an investigation April 6 that resulted in the arrest of 34 year-old resident of Page, Arizona.

The individual created a Facebook post that heavily associated Navajo citizens with the coronavirus. The post also advocated violence towards Navajo people as a means for stopping the spread of the virus in Page.

The Page Police Department identified the individual and made the arrest on a charge for attempting to incite an act of terrorism, a class three felony.

On Tuesday, members from the 24th Navajo Nation Council applauded the City of Page and the police department for moving quickly to investigate the social media threats.

“There is a long history between the Navajo Nation and border towns, and this exemplifies progress between our communities. During this pandemic, we are all in this together and I want to recognize Page Police Department for their swift action in taking these types of threats seriously. It is important that we continue to promote safety and healthy communities for our respective citizens,” said Council Delegate Amber Kanazbah Crotty.

Speaker of the Navajo Nation Council Seth Damon stressed the importance of ensuring care is taken when responding to COVID-19-related incidents

“Everyone needs to carefully consider their words and actions in this critical moment for the globe. The resources we have are limited, and it requires everyone’s positive efforts to put a stop to the spread of COVID-19,” said Speaker Seth Damon.

“The coronavirus doesn’t know the difference between Navajo or non-Navajo. Our front-line workers, which includes our police officers and our medical staff, are spread thin enough already. Responding to reports like this takes time and energy, and we thank the Page Police Department for addressing this immediately so it doesn’t grow into a bigger issue,” said Council Delegate Paul Begay.

Delegates also expressed gratitude to Page Police Department for acknowledging the alarming nature of the post and reinforcing to the public that discriminatory behavior is unlawful and would not be tolerated.

All members of the public are advised to report unlawful behavior to the proper law enforcement authorities. Threats of violence made in retaliation, or otherwise, on social media are unlawful.

24th Navajo Nation Council - Office of the Speaker purple logo
(Image: 24th Navajo Nation Council - Office of the Speaker)
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