A federal criminal complaint cited one in which James ranted about too many homeless people on the subway and put the blame on New York City’s mayor. “What are you doing, brother?” he said in the video posted March 27. “Every car I went to was loaded with homeless people. It was so bad, I couldn’t even stand.”
Frank James posted dozens of videos ranting about race, violence and his struggles with mental illness. One stands out for its relative calm: A silent shot of a packed New York City subway car in which he raises his finger to point out passengers, one by one, AP reports.
Even as police arrested James on Wednesday in the Brooklyn subway shooting that wounded 10 people, they were still searching for a motive from a flood of details about the 62-year-old Black man’s life.
An erratic work history. Arrests for a string of mostly low-level crimes. A storage locker with more ammo. And hours of rambling, bigoted, profanity-laced videos on his YouTube channel that point to a deep, simmering anger.
“This nation was born in violence, it’s kept alive by violence or the threat thereof, and it’s going to die a violent death,” says James in a video where he takes on the moniker “Prophet of Doom.”
After a 30-hour manhunt, James was arrested without incident after a tipster — thought by police to be James himself — said he could be found near a McDonald’s on Manhattan’s Lower East Side. Mayor Eric Adams triumphantly proclaimed “We got him!” Police said their top priority was getting the suspect, now charged with a federal terrorism offense, off the streets as they investigate their biggest unanswered question: Why?
A prime trove of evidence, they said, is his YouTube videos. He seems to have opinions about nearly everything — racism in America, New York City’s new mayor, the state of mental health services, 9/11, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and Black women.
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