UNION, NJ — Kayla-Simone McKelvey, 24, of Union Township has been charged with creating a false public alarm in connection with a series of threatening Twitter posts targeting black students at Kean university last month. The prosecutor's office said that McKelvey, a self-proclaimed activist, never actually planned to harm students.
McKelvey participated in a student rally regarding racial issues held on the evening of Nov. 17, the prosecutor's office said, but she left the rally midway through and walked to a computer station located in a university library. She used that time to create an anonymous Twitter account and begin posting racially charged threats of violence against black Kean students, an investigation by the Union County Prosecutor’s Office’s Special Prosecutions Unit and the Kean University Police Department found.
After making the posts, McKelvey immediately returned to the rally and attempted to spread awareness of the threats she allegedly had just fabricated, the prosecutor's office said.
McKelvey has been charged via summons with a single count of third-degree creating a false public alarm. A first appearance in the case has been scheduled for Monday, Dec. 14, in the Union County Jail courtroom.
In a message sent to all Kean students and faculty on Tuesday, University President Dawood Farahi wrote:
The Union County Prosecutor’s Office announced the results of its investigation and has charged the individual who sent the abhorrent tweets threatening the lives of members of our campus community. We are saddened to learn that the person allegedly responsible was an active participant in the rally that took place on campus on Tuesday, November 17 and is a former student of Kean. As a diverse academic community, we wholeheartedly respect and support activism, however, no cause or issue gives anyone the right to threaten the safety of others. We hope this information will begin to bring a sense of relief and security to the campus community. Meanwhile, please know that the Counseling Center is open and available to all students. Kean continues to be one of the most diverse campuses in our country with a long-standing tradition of celebrating diversity and offering a world-class education to our student population.