Dublin teen alarmed after Black Lives Matter event threatened online by gun dealer

A teenager in Dublin told KTVU his safety is being threatened because he is part of an event that will place Black Lives Matter signs at Dublin's Civic Center Plaza this weekend. 

That's because an online gun dealer posted a photo of 17-year-old Denel McMahan on social media and called for groups such as the NRA, Oath Keepers and Three Percenters to protest at the event scheduled for Sunday afternoon.  

Civic Center Plaza is highly visible from busy Dublin Boulevard.

In an interview Tuesday night, Denel said that's why he asked for and received permission from the Dublin city council to install what he calls a "sign garden" at the plaza, which will be a mobile collection of 40 signs promoting the BLM movement. 

The display goes from city to city including Livermore and Pleasanton.  

Denel said he made the request on behalf of the Tri-Valley Black Lives Matter, of which he is a member.

"It's not just a moment over the quarantine, over the summer. There are so many protests. We want to show it's a movement," said Denel, who is president of the Black Student Union at Dublin High, where he is a senior. 

But last Saturday night, Denel saw a picture of himself posted on social media by Mike Grant, an online gun dealer based in Dublin.

Grant wrote in part: "Oath Keepers please bring your vests and helmets in case these BLM people start trouble. Remember this group is known as a left wing anti-government group. Take Dublin back!"

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Denel was alarmed.

"I was pretty shaken up. My legs were shaking. I was nervous because I saw how many people he called out to come to the event," the teen said. 

His mother was upset, too. 

"It's very upsetting. In essence, you put a target on him. I was livid," said Dawn McMahan, Denel's mother. 

Police told KTVU that Grant's post does not rise to the level of a crime, but they did say they are investigating the situation. Police said they will be at the Sunday event. 

The McMahan's want more to be done. 

"This threat should be taken seriously and something should be done. We are trying to get a restraining order as well," McMahan said. 

KTVU has a video of Grant in January at a town hall meeting held by Congressman Eric Swalwell. The video shows him working as a firearms instructor and at the time, he spoke about his support for the Second Amendment and President Donald Trump.

By phone Tuesday, Grant told KTVU he never intended to cause harm to the teenager or his family. But he opposes signs promoting any cause on government property.

On Wednesday Denel told KTVU his father spoke with Grant and that Grant apologized, admitting he made a mistake. 

Grant said that since his post, he's called on people who support his ideas not to attend Sunday's Black Lives Matter event to prevent any violence.

Grant's initial assurances didn't sit well with the McMahan family.

"Given the current nature of events that doesn't mean his followers won't be incited to do something," McMahan said.