UPDATE Sept. 5: After spending eight days jail, James Evans, who was arrested for posting Exodus lyrics on Facebook, has been released. He's been told his case will be deferred for six months. He will also have to undergo a mental evaluation. Evans a statement to NBC 14:
“It's nonsense. I feel like my civil rights have been violated. You know first amendment freedom of speech out the window. Even all the guys I was in the cell with they thought it was nonsense themselves. I had several officials tell me it was nonsense that there was no reason why I should have even been here.”
ORIGINAL STORY: According to NBC 14, a music fan in Kentucky was arrested for posting band lyrics on social media. 31-year-old James Evans shared lyrics from the Exodus song, “Class Dismissed” via Facebook on August 24 and was then arrested for “terroristic threatening.”
NBC 14 reports that the warrant for Evans’ arrest says he was taken in because “he threatened to kill students and or staff at school.” He had a preliminary hearing Wednesday morning.
A statement from Exodus’ publicist says the band do “not promote or condone terrorists threats or bullying” but are baffled by “the fact that this man being charged for what seems against his first amendment rights of Freedom of Speech.”
Exodus guitarist Gary Holt said in a statement: “The idea that an individual in this great country of ours could be arrested for simply posting lyrics to a song is something I never believed could happen in a free society. James Evans was simply posting lyrics to a band he likes on Facebook, and he was locked up for it. The song ‘Class Dismissed (A Hate Primer)’ was written as a view through the eyes of a madman and in no way endorses that kind of fucked up behavior. It was the Virginia Tech massacre perpetrated by Seung-Hui Cho that was the subject and inspiration to write the song, one in which we put the brakes on playing it live after the Sandy Hook shooting, as we did not want to seem insensitive.”
Holt continued, “As some of us in Exodus are parents, of course these things hit close to home, it's every parent's worst fear. These moments are the stuff of nightmares, and life, as well as music, isn't always pretty. But when we start to overreact to things like lyrics by any band, including Exodus, and start arresting people, we are caving in to paranoia and are well on our way to becoming an Orwellian society.”
James' sister, Ashelynn, told NBC 14, “while she doesn't agree with the song lyrics, she doesn't think her brother should have been arrested.”
You can hear the song in question below. Let us know your thoughts.