Man in video calling Southern California’s Martin Luther King High School ‘ground zero’ is arrested,

Police on Wednesday, Feb. 12, arrested a 38-year-old Riverside man who they say taped a social media video post in the parking lot of Martin Luther King High School in Riverside with a voice-over comment, “Ground zero, right here. There’s white kids up here bullying black kids. And it’s happening right here, at Martin Luther King High School in Riverside, California.”

Maurice Dion Gamble was booked into Robert Presley Detention Center on suspicion of criminal threats, being a felon in possession of a firearm and possessing an assault rifle, the Riverside Police Department said. Gamble posted $50,000 bail and was released.

Riverside Police said in a news release that they believe the video, which has since been made private, was posted in response to a recently-circulated photo that shows some students at the school posing with a swastika and Confederate flag.

The video commentary does not seem to refer directly to the photo, but part of the script accompanying the posting reads, “Racism as strong as ever .. . Look what’s going on. Did you see the news?” The video shows the school’s sign, which includes its street address.

The script with that video also refers to a saying that if a snake bites a child, one should not look just for that snake, “but you kill every snake in the field.”

That video prompted an investigation, increased patrols and personnel at the school, and the identification of Gamble. Police began watching him Tuesday night. During that time, Gamble made other social media posts that police described as “suspicious.” In one video, Gamble appears to be in a store with boxes of ammunition on the shelves, with his smartphone camera pointed at himself. He calls the store “the happiest place on earth … bullets, bullets and more bullets.”

A third video appears to be an apology. “I got out of my character. I apologize,” says a man, looking into the camera. He appears to be drinking from a bottle of liquor.

Police arrested Gamble about noon Wednesday when he left his home in the 14000 block of Quailridge Drive.

Before the arrest, Riverside police said “There is no credible threat toward the high school, students, or staff” from the video. The high school’s administrators emailed parents and guardians of King students the same message Tuesday night.

Wednesday, the school had extra staff on hand, as well as counselors, said Tim Walker, Riverside Unified School District’s Assistant Superintendent of Pupil Services. Walker said district personnel took on school duties to free Martin Luther King staff to answer questions from arriving students and parents. He also said there was an increased police presence Wednesday on campus.

Show More
Back to top button