US Marine Brandon Raub was detained by police for posting what may appear to be threatening messages on Facebook. The moments were caught on video and posted on YouTube. (Photo : YouTube/Screenshot)
A former Marine was detained for psychiatric evaluation after posting several anti-government messages on Facebook. Police are not using the word "arrest" for the matter but "detained" as under state law in Virginia police can allow emergency and temporary psychiatric detention upon the recommendation of a mental health professional.
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The Marine, named Brandon Raub, has been in custody after FBI, Secret Service, and Virginia's Chesterfield County police questioned him last Thursday evening about Facebook posts of a pending revolution.
One of Raub's message was, "Sharpen my axe; I'm here to sever heads."
Raub has since been in the John Randolph Medical Center, and has not been charged with any crime.
The detainment of Raub has led to public outcry as people state it might have infringed on Raub's First Amendment rights. Further complaints came from a YouTube video showing Raub being thrown to the ground by police.
The Rutherford Institute, a Virginia-based civil liberties group, has given Raub one of their attorneys for a hearing scheduled on Monday.
"For government officials to not only arrest Brandon Raub for doing nothing more than exercising his First Amendment rights but to actually force him to undergo psychological evaluations and detain him against his will goes against every constitutional principle this country was founded upon," said the institute's executive director John Whitehead.
According to CBS Richmond affiliate WTVR, Raub's mother Cathleen Thomas said his son has no history of a mental illness.
"He never was violent or psychotic or anything like that," said Cathleen Thomas to WTVR. "There were just conversations we had back and forth, very deep."
Another of Raub's postings was, "There is evil going on all around the world. The United States was meant to lead the charge against injustice, but through our example not our force. People do not respond to having liberty and freedom forced on them."
"Our views are very strong because we are patriots," Thomas added. "Our stance in this family is to question everything...when we lose the right to be able to stand up and say how we feel, no matter what it's about, I think that we need to be very concerned. Because what it speaks to me is that they're trying to shut people up. They're trying to squelch the message."
Raub served as a combat engineer sergeant in both Iraq and Afganistan.