Early this morning, the Dallas Police Department and the Dallas Mayor’s office received an email from Barrett Brown containing a secret recording of a phone call, a copy of which was released today by Distributed Denial of Secrets and is embedded below. In this recording, a Dallas police officer claims that the Assistant Chief of Police lied to a city councilman about an investigation of terrorist threats made against the City of Dallas and against Brown’s publishers in retaliation for their publication of his work. As Brown’s email explained,
I’m writing to let you know that one of the investigators on the downtown library/D Magazine bomb threat case has been telling the press that the information you provided to Councilman Kingston on what was being done was “not true” and that “things didn’t happen the way they were presented,” as you can hear for yourself at the 6:40 mark in the attached audio recording made by Rogers last November. I understand that it may be the investigator himself who has the facts incorrect here, but it also appears that contrary to your initial statement, the two charges mentioned in the above email have not actually been filed.
Brown’s email concedes that there may be a good reason for the police’s seemingly excessive desire for secrecy, or “some good reason why this entire incident has been handled in the exact opposite manner that every other threat against every other media outlet in the country has been handled for years.” Brown admits that he doesn’t expect any comment or response from the Dallas Police Department, but his ethical and professional obligations required him to give them the opportunity to do so. As Brown explained in his upcoming memoir, My Glorious Defeats: Hacktivist, Narcissist, Anonymous.
I have two interesting files. The first is an email written by Dallas assistant police chief Lonzo Anderson to my city councilman, Philip Kingston, explaining that the local man who threatened to blow up the offices of D Magazine “if they continued to publish Barrett Brown”, as Anderson put it, was “in custody” and would be charged with two specific offenses he listed in detail. The second is a recording of a Dallas police investigator telling the editor of D that what Anderson wrote “was not true”, though failing to provide specifics, and expressing his anger that the editor had told me about the threat to begin with. This first document I made public three months ago, bringing it to the attention of the Dallas Morning News, which reported neither the threat to me nor a similar threat to the downtown Dallas library referenced in the email, and D itself, which posted an article about the whole incident before removing it the very next day. The following week, a virtual identical bomb threat made to CNN resulted in an evacuation and massive NYPD response, along with an hour of breaking news reports. But the Dallas man was never charged; not even the Facebook account he used to make the threats was taken down, or even suspended. Some time later, when I received the second file – the recording that confirmed Dallas police had sought to cover up this incident – I didn’t even bother to release it. The last article I’d written for D involved criticism of The Dallas Morning News’ coverage of the shooting of a black resident in his own home by a white DPD officer, Amber Guyger, whose explanation for what had happened was reported by the News’ staff writers as fact even when that explanation changed; the article before that was an attack on the DPD itself, which I’d been monitoring over a police scanner.
In addition to the recording, attached to Brown’s email is a copy of an email sent from Dallas Assistant Chief of Police Lonzo Anderson to city councilman Philip Kingston on November 18, 2018. According to Anderson’s email, the police planned a “Terroristic Threat F/3 Charge” against a subject for the threat against the Dallas City Library “and a Misdemeanor class A charge” for the threat against D Magazine. An alert about the suspect was issued “for situational awareness” and the Fusion Center issued a bulletin “to all DPD officers.”
Anderson’s email concludes with the statement, “On November 15, 2018, DPD took the subject in custody for a DPD alias warrant. The subject was interviewed at headquarters. The investigation is on-going.” The recording of the phone is dated eleven days after Lonzo’s email claimed the suspect had been “in custody for a DPD alias warrant.” That same day, Brown tweeted that he was dissatisfied with the handling of the investigation, had no new information and that the Dallas Police Department wanted the matter kept quiet. D Magazine apparently complied, and deleted an article on the matter soon after it was published.
I have zero new information on the bomb threat guy and have given up on receiving any. As per dubious police “advice”, @DMagazine is keeping it quiet and editor is snippy at me for not agreeing to trust them. On the other hand this is all pretty typical Dallas shit, so whatevs.
— Barrett Brown (@BarrettBrown_) November 15, 2018
In the recording, D Magazine editor Tim Rogers explains his confusion. “Yesterday, I got an email from you saying ‘we have not arrested him.’ I get that there’s a difference between arresting someone and taking them into custody, but when I get that and then a couple hours later, I’m reading on Twitter the words of Lonzo saying that he was taken into custody… I’m like, ‘what’s going on here?'”
In response, the police officer explains that it’s “because it was not true. Not everything was true that was presented there. It’s still ongoing and things didn’t happen the way they were presented, truth be told.”
Rogers quickly followed up, asking “so what Lonzo told Philip Kingston is not true? Because that’s really important.”
In response, the unnamed police officer attempted to end the phone call. “Look, see, here you go again. I guess we’re done here. It’s just that you’re getting very dated information and the investigation has changed. You’re sitting here asking questions and you’re gonna spin it the way you spin it.”
The officer declined to offer an explanation for the apparently false information given to the city councilman except that “the investigation has changed.” They then ended the phone call, stating they couldn’t say anything about an ongoing investigation.
Brown was never contacted by the police about the matter. The information he received from Kingston came in response to an inquiry Brown had made with the city councilman, an allyship the Dallas police appear to have been unaware of. Despite the Dallas Police Department’s failure to contact Brown, they were aware that the “terroristic threat” was about him and his writing. As the Assistant Chief of Police’s email acknowledged, “The D Magazine Office received a bomb threat via Facebook. The message stated that if they continued to publish Barrett Brown that he was going to blow up their office. ”
Lonzo’s email read, in its entirety:
On November 13, 2018, a subject made a veil threat on social media Facebook to the Dallas Public Library located at 1515 Young Street. The Facebook post reads as follows: “If you Democrats don’t stop this conspiracy shit I’m gonna blow your fucking library up”. Intelligence detectives were immediately notified and also the FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force. Dallas Police Fusion monitored the subject’s social media accounts for intelligence. Dallas Police Explosive Ordinance and Dallas Security conducted a search on the library and no bomb was located.
In addition to the library, the subject made a similar threat to an employee at the D Magazine office. The D Magazine Office received a bomb threat via Facebook. The message stated that if they continued to publish Barrett Brown that he was going to blow up their office.
A Terroristic Threat F/3 Charge will be filed for the Dallas City Library and a Misdemeanor class A charge will be filed for the threat made against an employee of D Magazine. A DPD CAD Bolo was entered on the suspect for situational awareness. An information bulletin was also disseminated by Fusion to all DPD officers.
On November 15, 2018, DPD took the subject in custody for a DPD alias warrant. The subject was interviewed at headquarters. The investigation is on-going. I will contact Intelligence for any further updates.
Updated on February 22, 2019 to include a video of Barrett addressing the mayor of Dallas about the issue and a direct download link for the audio of the Dallas PD phone call.