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Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Massachusetts

Saturday, June 9, 2018

Arizona Man Arrested for Threatening Harvard Black Commencement Attendees in 2017

Defendant allegedly posted internet threats to shoot attendees and bomb Harvard University

BOSTON – An Arizona man was arrested last night in connection with posting threats to bomb Harvard and shoot attendees at the Black Commencement event held on May 2017. 

Nicholas Zuckerman, 24, was indicted on two counts of transmitting in interstate and foreign commerce a threat to injure the person of another. Zuckerman was arrested last night and will appear in federal court in Boston at a later date.

On or about May 13, 2017, Zuckerman allegedly commented on a post published to Harvard University’s Instagram account, saying: “If the blacks only ceremony happens, then I encourage violence and death at it.  I’m thinking two automatics with extendo clips.  Just so no nigger gets away.”  It is further alleged that on that same date, Zuckerman posted a comment to another Harvard Instagram post, saying: “#bombharvard and end their pro-black agenda.” Several minutes later, Zuckerman allegedly commented “#bombharvard” on other users’ posts approximately 11 times over a span of four minutes. 

A concerned citizen who saw the posts reported them to the Harvard University Police who ultimately referred the case to federal authorities.

The charge of transmitting in interstate and foreign commerce a threat to injure the person of another of provides for a sentence of no greater than five years in prison, three years of supervised release, and a fine of $250,000.  Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

United States Attorney Andrew E. Lelling, Harold H. Shaw, Special Agent in Charge Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Field Division, and Harvard University Chief of Police Francis D. Riley made the announcement today. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Anne Paruti of Lelling’s Major Crimes Unit and Scott Garland of Lelling’s National Security Unit are prosecuting the case.

The details contained in the indictment are allegations. The defendant is presumed to be innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.   

Civil Rights
Updated June 9, 2018