Philly Police counterterrorism unit interrogated journalist after Facebook comment

October 11, 2018

Ernest Owens

By Staff

Ernest Owens, the LGBTQ editor at Philadelphia Magazine, tends to be provocative when writing about racism and homophobia. But he had no idea that a social media comment about racial tensions in Philadelphia’s Gayborhood would get him a call from the Police Department’s counterterrorism unit.

That’s what happened last December, after someone complained to the police about what he wrote on Facebook. “I was just shocked,” Owens, who turns 27 Friday, said last week. Being questioned by detectives inside an interrogation room in South Philadelphia left him shaken, he said, and factored into his decision not to cover the January 2018 Mummers Parade, as he had in the past.

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