'Anonymous' hacker group threatens Cincinnati police

Cell phone video: Suspect with airsoft pistol shot, killed by police
Published: Feb. 22, 2016 at 3:42 AM EST|Updated: Feb. 23, 2016 at 3:50 AM EST
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CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - Cincinnati Police say they are aware of a threat from the 'Anonymous' hacker group and have taken necessary precautions to keep officers safe.

The group posted a video to YouTube Sunday titled 'Message to Cincinnati Police Department.' A masked group member with a computer-modified voice says files containing personal information about Cincinnati police officers will be released online.

The link to the Anonymous "data dump" directs to a removed page on

The group's message comes in response to a police shooting in Westwood last week. 'Anonymous' alleges CPD officers shot and killed suspect Paul Gaston because he was black. The group said officers did not use lethal force against a white suspect in a similar situation the same day.

That suspect, Christopher Laugle, pointed a gun at Mt. Healthy Police officers – CPD officers were not involved, as the hackers claimed.

Fraternal Order of Police Sgt. Dan Hils said the group doctored videos of the Gaston shooting in an effort to "rile us up."

Officers fired nine shots at Gaston, 37, after he refused to lie flat on the ground and then raised up, appearing to reach for a weapon from his waistband, police chief Eliot Isaac said.

The firearm turned out to be an airsoft pistol. Chief Isaac described it as "a very realistic-looking firearm."

The Anonymous video shows cell phone footage released by Cincinnati police. Hils said Anonymous' video is cut short before Gaston is seen reaching toward his waistband.

"I believe this is a fringe element that is trying to stir up emotions and trouble in a city that is mostly peaceful and supportive of its police department," said Hils.

Chief Isaac said the police administration is aware of the threat and taking necessary precautions.

"We take all threats seriously and will be investigating any potential criminal activity connected," Chief Isaac said on Sunday.

The video message from Anonymous can be viewed below. Some viewers may find the content disturbing.

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