Police officers in Charlottesville, Virginia, arrested and charged a teenager on Friday for uttering a racist threat against black and Hispanic students at Charlottesville High School in an online publication.

The Charlottesville Police Department arrested the 17-year-old man in connection with an anonymous threat posted on the 4chan website and containing "bias-based language targeting specific ethnic groups within the US". Charlottesville High School ". The city closed all public schools on Thursday and Friday while police investigated the credibility of the threat.

"We want the community to know that all potential threats, credible or otherwise, to our schools are taken seriously and investigated thoroughly," police said in a statement. declaration.

A screen shot of 4chan's threat ordering white students to stay home because there would be a school shooting during an act of ethnic cleansing was posted on Reddit on Wednesday, according to the Richmond Times-Dispatch .

The unidentified teenager has been charged with a crime of threat of serious bodily harm to people lying on the school grounds and of a computer harassment offense. He resides in Albemarle County and is not a student at Charlottesville High School. Officials said that the teenager identified as Portuguese.

"In Charlottesville and around the world, we are adamant about declaring: There are no very competent people on both sides of the issue," Charlottesville Police Chief RaShall Brackney told a conference this Friday.

The threat prompted Charlottesville schools to close for a second consecutive day on Friday for security reasons for the duration of the investigation. Charlottesville police worked with the high school superintendent, the Virginia state police and the FBI during the investigation.

The 4chan social website and the 8chan display panel, 8chan, are credited for harboring racist threats posted by the New Zealand shooter before the attack that took place this month and that made 50 shot dead in two mosques. The website was also used to organize the fatal "Unite the Right" rally in Charlottesville in 2017, which resulted in the death of Heather Heyer, a 32-year-old protester-protester who was hit by a car. After the violence, President Donald Trump said that there were "very good people on both sides" of the event.

"All staff and the school board are supportive of our color students and people who have been chosen for reasons such as religion, ethnicity or gender identity within the framework of. Other despicable threats made across the country or the world, "Charlottesville City Schools said in a statement.

"We are in the same boat, and a threat against one is a threat against all."

Follow Lilly Price on Twitter @lillianmprice

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