An Arizona man accused of threatening to attack a black graduation event at Harvard University last year is now facing multiple federal charges.
Nicholas Zuckerman, 24, was arrested on Friday, according to a release from the District of Massachusetts US Attorney’s Office.
Zuckerman is scheduled to appear in federal court in Boston at a later date and faces up to five years in prison, three years of supervised release, and a fine of $250,000 if convicted.
Zuckerman made his threatening statements in May of last year in comments on a Harvard University Instagram post, according to the US Attorney's statement. He's charged with transmitting in interstate and foreign commerce a threat to injure the person of another.
“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 n***** gets away,” Zuckerman reportedly wrote in one comment. He allegedly wrote similar comments on another Harvard post, including one that read, “#bombharvard and end their pro-black agenda” — in fact, authorities suspect Zuckerman wrote “#bombharvard” on other users’ posts approximately 11 times over a four-minute span.
He was arrested this year after a concerned citizen reported his posts to university police, who then referred the case to federal authorities.
Christina Sterling, spokesperson for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Boston, declined to comment to The Harvard Crimson on the details of the investigation.
“We don’t discuss how the investigation played out,” Sterling said.
Harvard University did not immediately respond to Oxygen.com’s request for comment.
Harvard held its first ever Black Commencement ceremony on May 23, 2017, two days prior to the university’s general commencement. The separate commencement event for more than 170 students was created to honor the African diaspora, and was funded by donations collected by student organizers totaling $27,000, the Huffington Post reported.
Harvard is not the only university to hold separate commencement ceremonies for specific groups. The University of Delaware holds “Lavender” graduation ceremonies for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender students, while Columbia university hosts a “First-Generation Graduation” for students who were the first in their families to graduate from college, The New York Times reported.
[Photo: Black Commencement at Havard University in Cambridge, Mass., on May 23, 2017. By Keith Bedford/The Boston Globe via Getty Images]