Man who threatened to shoot and bomb a Harvard commencement for black students sentenced to prison

Posted at 10:26 PM, Jul 18, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-19 00:26:28-04

An Arizona man received 15 months in prison for threatening to bomb Harvard University and shoot attendees at its Black Commencement in 2017.

Nicholas Zuckerman, 25, will serve his prison time and then a subsequent three years of supervised release, the US Attorney’s Office in Massachusetts announced Thursday.

According to the US Attorney’s statement, Zuckerman allegedly posted a comment under a photo posted to the university’s Instagram account stating: “If the blacks only ceremony happens, then I encourage violence and death at it. I’m thinking two automatics with extendo clips. Just so no n***** gets away.”

A year later, he was arrested, and the case was turned over to federal authorities.

In February, Zuckerman pleaded guilty to two counts of making interstate threats.

“Let today’s sentence serve as a lesson to all that no hate monger hiding behind a social-media pseudonym can stop others from celebrating the diversity of some of our area’s best and brightest minds,” Joseph R. Bonavolonta, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Boston Division said in a statement Thursday.

The event Zuckerman threatened was an optional ceremony held two days prior to graduation that honored the achievements of black students at the school and shared their experiences with the greater university.

More than 300 students and 500 guests registered to attend.

It was the first time Harvard’s graduate school held a ceremony to honor the black student body. The university had in the past held similar black graduation ceremonies for undergraduate students, and already had an additional commencement ceremony for Latinx students.