Brooklyn shooting suspect has been ranting about race on YouTube for years (Update: 'We got him' - arrest video)

Yesterday authorities in New York announced that 62-year-old Frank R. James was a “person of interest” in the Brooklyn subway shooting. Police said they didn’t know if James was the shooter but they were certain he was the person who rented a U-haul van. The keys to the van were found at the scene of the shooting. That uncertainty about James’ status vanished overnight. James is now the suspect.


The man wanted in connection to the savage Brooklyn subway attack that injured at least 29 people is now considered a “suspect,” the NYPD said Wednesday.

Frank James, 62, was initially named as a person of interest in the wake of Tuesday’s rush-hour attack on the N train in Sunset Park.

The upgrade to James’ status was “based on new information that has become available to the team,” Mayor Eric Adams told WNYC radio.

I don’t know what it was that changed their minds (Mayor Adams didn’t say) but today we are seeing video which shows James in a vest and hard hat on his way to the subway.

Yesterday we also learned that James had made some posts on social media that were of concern to authorities. That turns out to have been an understatement. Frank James has been posting rants on YouTube for years. Recently he’s been critical of Mayor Adams.

“Mr. Mayor, I’m a victim of your mental health program,” James said in one lengthy video.

“I’m 63 now full of hate, full of anger, and full of bitterness.”

He also criticized the mayor for not doing more to combat homelessness.

“Eric Adams, Eric Adams: What are you doing, brother? What’s happening with this homeless situation,” he said while referring to the subway. “Every car I went to was loaded with homeless people. It was so bad, I couldn’t even stand. I had to keep moving from car to car.”


But that’s just scratching the surface:

He talks about death in several videos and discusses a “race war” and the desire to “exterminate” certain groups of people in one clip. In another, posted April 6, he says there needs to be more mass shootings, claiming the problem wouldn’t be the shooter, rather the environment they exist in.

In a video posted Monday, James said he had experienced the desire to kill people but he didn’t want to go to jail. In one uploaded March 18, he claimed he suffered from severe post-traumatic stress disorder.

As I was writing this, James’ YouTube channel was just pulled down for “violating YouTube’s Community Guidelines.” The videos on the channel I saw have been going up steadily since early 2019 but today they violated the community guidelines. Andy Ngo collected some of the videos and some of his Facebook posts in a Twitter thread.


Here’s one of his videos ranting about the fact that Justice Jackson has a white husband.

There were hours and hours of stuff like this. Many of his videos were just Frank James sitting in front of a camera and ranting for 30 or 40 minutes non-stop. I listened to a few of them before they disappeared and he definitely did not like white people but he was almost as harsh about black people.

In the clip below, he takes his show into the street and is ranting about the race of everyone he passes.


In this clip, James compares the state of black Americans to what happened to the Jews in Nazi Germany.

And in this one he says he wants to kill people but knows he’s not cut out for life in prison.

There’s a lot more like this, some of which you can see in this thread. Frank James has been telling anyone who would listen how he felt about the world for some time now. It’s just that no one was really listening before yesterday.

Update: The NY Times has a story up headlined “Frank James, the man being sought by police, left troubling videos online.” That’s accurate but as Andrew Sullivan noticed, the story itself is rather vague.


From the story:

The suspect in Tuesday’s subway attack in Brooklyn appears to have posted dozens of videos on social media in recent years — lengthy rants in which he expressed a range of harshly bigoted views…

The videos featured a man — who appeared to be the same man in a picture released by the police — delivering extended tirades, many of them overtly concerned with race and violence, often tying those subjects in with current events, including the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the policies of Mr. Adams.

And that’s it except for two very brief descriptions of specific videos. Here’s the 2nd one: “Another video on the channel, posted in 2020, appeared to have been taken in New York’s subways. In that video, the person holding the camera simply trains it on a crowded subway car.” They’re not exactly giving readers a detailed picture.

Update: Frank James has been arrested by the NYPD.

“We got him, we got him,” Mayor Eric Adams said.

James was stopped on the street after a CrimeStoppers tip, NYPD Commissioner Keechant Sewell said. He was taken into custody around 1:40 p.m. Hundreds of NYPD officers worked “doggedly” to find him. He’s since been taken to an NYPD precinct.

“We were able to shrink his world quickly,” she said. “There was nowhere left for him to run.”

This appears to be video of the arrest.


Another angle:

Update: So the guy who spotted James on the street is a 21-year-old security camera installer named Zack Dahnan. He’s definitely having a moment. Good for him.

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