The FBI is investigating a violently racist man who stormed a virtual classroom and threatened to lynch a class of fifth-graders.
The disturbing incident took place on October 14th, 2020, as most schools continued with online education amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Brian Adams of Paintsville, Kentucky, accessed a virtual Laureate Academy Charter School fifth-grade class in Harvey, Louisiana. Once logged in, Adams called the majority Black class a “bunch of dirty n—-s.” He threatened the children, stating he would “hang you by the tree.” Many students covered their ears and began crying during the incident, which was recorded.
At one point, teachers were able to kick Adams out of the virtual classroom, but he was able to log back in and continue verbally assaulting students. The attack caused Laureate Academy to cancel classes for the next two days.
The day after the “Zoombombing,” two students discovered a YouTube channel called “Archangel gaming,” which posted a video of Adams attacking the students on the Zoom session. The channel also featured footage of Google searches for swastikas. The 45-year-old man used the handle “Alex Jones” during the Zoombombing, referring to the conspiracy theorist far-right radio host.
Google, which owns YouTube, provided authorities with an email address associated with Adams, which led them to his home address. On November 3rd of this year, federal agents raided the house and seized multiple electronics. Following the raid, Adams admitted to threatening the children and posting the incident to YouTube. He also confessed to stealing over $1,000 worth of computer equipment by stealing someone’s Best Buy reward points from their email.
He has not yet been charged with a crime, but federal authorities are likely to charge him with several serious offenses, including threatening interstate communications, interference with federally protected activities, and wire fraud.