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Some people just can’t manage to get past their exes. One Frenchman was so obsessed that he couldn’t keep from sending his former love interest a long string of text messages. The result: “Last week, 22-year-old Azougagh Bilal was found guilty and sentenced to six months in jail, with three months suspended, after a judge ruled that the messages could indeed be interpreted as death threats, according to Le Dauphiné Libéré.” He was also ordered to cough up a 1000 euro fine. What did the court find so objectionable? . . .

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That’s right, he included at least one gun emoji while electronically creeping on the girl. And just in case you were thinking. “Jeez, the stupid cheese-eating surrender monkeys” and dismissing this as a European thing, hold on.

(W)hen the gun emoji is dropped into threatening emails, it’s of course considered a threat.

That’s why police in January 2015 arrested a Brooklyn teenager on charges that included making terrorist threats after he posted messages with a police emoji alongside gun emojis.

The article didn’t detail the content of Bilal’s messages. They very well may have risen to the level of actual harassment. So remember:

Sometimes, a cigar is just a cigar.

Other times, a gun emoji is a threat that’s backed up by stark reality.

28 Responses to Gun Emoji Lands Frenchman in Jail

  1. That there was a string of messages suggests that there was a level of possessiveness and harassment that justified this.

      • 22 isn’t teen-aged anymore. The frenchman in the story was 22 years old.

        Let’s rephrase:

        “Unfortunately, stalkers do stalky things…”

        As far as the “teen” goes, well, he does a little more than “teen-aged” things. Here’s some relevant bits from the article:

        “Police said Aristy had 12 prior arrests, including for robbery, assault, criminal possession of marijuana, disorderly content and criminal possession of a weapon.

        In October, Aristy pleaded guilty to robbery in the first degree after he attacked people on two separate occasions in robberies, first with a beer bottle and then with a knife.

        On May 18 around 4:45 a.m., he and five others repeatedly struck a man with beer bottles before taking his cash and cell phone, on Greene Avenue near Wyckoff Avenue.

        The victim suffered dizziness, bleeding, cuts and bruises to his face, according to a criminal complaint.

        Then on May 27 around 3:00 a.m., he and another person placed a knife to a man’s neck, knocked him to the ground and then took his cash and cellphone, according to a criminal complaint.”

        So they arrested him for some threats against the police, emoji or not.

        • Whoa, whoa. Wait a minute.

          First of all, you’ve got the parties confused. The French stalker boyfriend is 22. The Brooklyn threat is a teenager.

          Second, I’m curious to know what qualifies as a French name. I get that there are a lot of unengaged immigrants there, but I’m not sure what makes the actions in this case particular to that group rather than crazy ex’s in general – we’ve seen enough Should Have Been a DGU stories to know that it happens everywhere. Also, this guy is in SE France, not Paris – making it a little less likely he lives in an enclave.

          The biggest problem I have with the comment, though, is that it sounds like the sort of thing you would have heard about the O’Reilly, Chang, Bertoli, Nakasone, and other families over the last couple hundred years of American history. My last name doesn’t sound “American”. Are you really going to tell me that it’s obvious that I’m a criminal or terrorist or layabout?

          You want to know why politicians target gun owners? Comments like that make it clear that as a group we are going to judge people for their names. So they make sweeping generalizations about us…and we confirm them. Now we’ve proven they are right about one thing, so folks figure they must be right about others.

        • Kati –

          French is a language, and the name “Azougagh Bilal” doesn’t sound like a typical French name.

          Let’s change the context. What if we read about a “Russian man” name Robert Frost, a “Japanese man” named Michael Jordan, or an “Iranian man” named Bill O’Reilly. It would be entirely appropriate to mention that those names do not sound Russian, Japanese, or Persian.

          Now “American” sounding names are totally different category. “American” isn’t a language. Furthermore, the United States is a melting pot nation made up almost entirely of people who have immigrated here from all over the world. Surnames like Garza, Suzuki, Van De Graaf, Smith, Lewinski, O’Reilly, etc. ALL SOUND AMERICAN.

          European countries (like France) have a very different history, and have been far less successful at integrating various immigrant communities.

        • ONE TIME was a melting pot. Not, thanks to the progtards, a balkanized un-assimilated cesspool.

        • Clive –

          You’re right. I was looking at the comment asserting that he could hardly be called a Frenchman, but used your phrasing. I’ve seen plenty of multi-generational Germans in South America. Saying that he was hardly a Frenchman seems as ignorant of historic immigration and increasing mobility as making the same assertion of Franz from Punta Arenas.

          I understand that traditional names from many of the “old” countries are becoming part of the same backdrop as names common to immigrants. But, part of being a global player is going through what the US has gone through generation after generation.

    • In free countries, or even quarter way free ones, speech (at least unless extremely direct and incontrovertible: of the “I’m going to come over and kill you right now” kind) does not “justify” a single state functionary getting out of bed in the morning and collecting hourlies from taxpayers. Much less jailing someone.

      Block caller, is a function on most smart phones. The rest have power buttons. If you’re worried about something more, get a gun and learn how to use it. The government banning guns, then using that as an excuse for them to usurp even more power over people, isn’t somehow justified because of the first transgression.

      In a country where women cannot buy and carry guns, weaker women are at increased risk from stronger men. That’s a feature of such a system. Not a bug.

  2. No one wants to promote the idea that policing speech and thought are a good thing, however we must see the context in which these were sent. I don’t want the police to tell me that they took the messages as threatening, I want them to be out in the open to see for ourselves. If they were truly of a threatening nature, the individual has every right to call on the authorities to a credible threat on his or her life but there should be great discretion applied when using the government to step in a quash personal matters such as this.

    • In the case of the teen (and this somewhat applies to adults in certain cases like domestic violence and sexual assault): If the teen is a juvenile, then the prosecution and court cannot release the information because “teens do stupid teen stuff and we dont want this unfortunate, stupid, childish thing to ruin the rest of his life do we?”…… Now if the teen was unjustly prosecuted, then perhaps the defense attorney or the childs parents should release the specifics……. Considering how much of a thug this kid is, I would imagine that the whole truth and nothing but the truth is uglier than the little bit of information the public knows. The defense will probably take advantage of the 5th ammendment in this case and you will have to fill in the blanks with what ever bias you bring to the table.

  3. “Gun emoji lands Frenchman in jail”, or in other words: “Man threatens ex-lover with violence, lands in jail.”

  4. Where does this sort of stupidity cease? Arrested for electronically sending cartoon images whose meaning is open for interpretation?

    Should mean looks be considered assault?

    • “Im going to ? and ? you and your whole family to ?!! Then I’m going to ? on your ? and ? down your ? with you still in it! Im the ? and you’re ?????!!!!”

      …… Dont worry Judge, its cool. I used emojis. Case dismissed…..

      • Well using an “emoje” is the mark of a moron. That yellow cartoon at the top of this thread would say to me “going to suicide”.

        • Yeah but it doesn’t look like that was the one used.

          And “moron” and “criminal” are not mutually exclusive.

  5. Never point a gun at anything you aren’t willing to destroy.

    Such as your career, your reputation, your life savings, your freedom, your future gun rights, etc.

  6. The question is not (or at least, shouldn’t be) “could it be interpreted as a threat”, but rather “would a reasonable person interpret it as a credible threat”?

    Whether you use spoken words, written words, emojis, Morse code, or interpretive dance is just window dressing.

  7. Bonjour. I got a French name. That’s a moose-lim sounding name. And I got no sympathy for the creepy 22 year old.Waaaaay over the edge boy. BTW one of my fakebook friends is a 22 year old distant cousin with the same(rare) last name. And he’s kinda’ swarthy…

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