NEW YORK(CBSNewYork) — Ismaaiyl Brinsley began his Saturday, by making anti-police threats online.

On Monday, officials revealed that he had been making anti-government statements for months on social media.

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Hours before the murders, Brinsley wrote in an instagram post alongside a picture of a gun, “I’m putting wings on pigs today…They take 1 of ours, let’s take 2 of theirs.” He also wrote, “This may be my final post.”

It wasn’t until police began investigating that they discovered the posts.

“If they put their identity or traces to their identity it has to be taken extremely seriously,” psychologist Dr. Harris Stratyner told CBS2’s Alice Gainer.

Dr. Stratyner said traditionally, if a threat is issued anonymously it’s not believed it will be carried out because the person is hiding behind social media.

There are several other factors that go into determining whether someone is just ranting online or actually poses a real danger.

“A lot of times it’s age dependent. If it’s a younger person a lot of time they’re ranting and raving as opposed to someone who’s a little older,” Dr. Stratyner said.

It’s even harder to determine if you don’t actually know the person and just follow them on social media, a commonplace occurrence these days.

“I think if you have a second, a moment of thought about this and you said ‘oh, wow that was a little odd,’ I think you should report it,” he said.

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It’s hard to find anyone who can’t point to an example of a threat they’ve seen online.

“I’ve had that happen to my friends before. If I think it’s serious I definitely would report it,” Monica Stricker said.

“It happened when a student made a threat to a teacher on Facebook and someone, one of his classmates told the teacher it was a serious threat and he said he would cut her with a knife or something like that,” Omar Torres said.

All agreed that it’s better to say something and report an online posting now, then have something tragic happen and regret it later.

“We could have prevented perhaps, the murder of these two officers if we had proper intelligence well in advance of this incident or planned assassination,” Joe Occhipinti, Executive Director, National Police Defense Foundation, said.

The National Police Defense Foundation said they are amending their safe cop program.

They will now give up to a $10,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of anyone posting on social media that they want to kill a law enforcement officer.

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