When you're the so-called face of Anonymous, a lot of your life gets documented online, including, for Barrett Brown, video threats to an FBI agent and his subsequent arrest. We still don't know why Brown was arrested on Wednesday night. But because he lives so much of his life online, we got to see video of his arrest, hear audio, and even get a transcript. And we can also see videos Brown posted earlier Wednesday that sure seem like they could have led to the raid.
Daily Dot did a great early rundown of how Brown's arrest became "one of the most thoroughly covered arrests in multimedia." He was with his girlfriend, on a video chat with 12 others when an off-camera commotion broke out and Brown left the frame before his girlfriend turned the webcam off. But the audio ran, and shouting from someone who sounds a lot like law enforcement can clearly be heard. Soon after, someone who had been recording the video chat posted it to Mediafire, someone else posted cleaned-up audio, and then a transcript went up on Pastebin. Brown is still in custody with the FBI, Wired reports, citing a Dallas County sheriff's spokeswoman.
Earlier Wednesday, Brown had posted a series of videos to Youtube railing against FBI agent Robert Smith. "Robert Smith's life is over. And when I say his life is over I don't mean I'm going to kill him, but I'm going to ruin his life and look into his fucking kids," Brown says at about 10:45 in the third and final installment, below. At the very end of the video, he says he's always thought he'd be dead before the age of 40, "and I wouldn't mind going out with a couple of FBI sidearms." Daily Dot reported that at some point in the video Brown threatened "to knife any FBI agent who bothered him or his mother," but if that's in there we missed it. Once again, the reason for Brown's arrest hasn't been made clear, but threatening a federal agent is illegal and people have gone to jail for it before, so that's a reasonable first guess.
Here's the video of Brown's arrest:
And the video of his third rant against FBI agent Robert Smith:
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.