The mother of a 21-year-old man who has been sentenced to 24 years in prison for killing an Ohio mother and her baby daughter has hit out at the mysterious TikTok following that is “obsessed” with him.
Cameron Herrin was sentenced in April in the 2018 killing of Jessica Reisinger-Raubenolt and her one-year-old daughter Lillia Raubenolt.
When Herrin was 18-years-old, he hit the mother and daughter while driving a Mustang he’d been gifted for his high school graduation two days earlier.
Witnesses later told investigators that Herrin and his friend John Barrineau, who was driving a Nissan, appeared to be racing on Tampa’s Bayshore Boulevard.
Prosecutors presented evidence that the Mustang topped 100 mph (160 kph) moments before the crash, rapidly decelerating to 30 and 40 mph (48 and 64 kph) at the time of impact.
Since Herrin’s conviction, the now 21-year-old has amassed a large online following, primarily on TikTok, where his account has over two million followers.
Posts tagged JutsiceForCameron had flooded a number of social media platforms, with many including footage from his sentencing.
Some of the clips feature sad and heart emojis while describing Herrin as “innocent” or “too cute” to go to jail.
Many of the posts argue that Herrin’s 24-year sentence is unwarranted and disproportionate, with the posts appearing in a mix of English and Arabic.
The Tampa Bay Times reports that the Facebook pages of the 13th Circuit Court and the Florida Department of Corrections had also been inundated with similar messages following the sentencing.
There are no TikTok videos currently on Herrin’s official account. The social media outlet told the Times that videos related to Herrin have been viewed 1.7 billion times.
The young man’s mother has since hit out at some of the supporters, telling the newspaper that it was “almost like an obsession, an unhealthy obsession”.
Shelby Grossman at the Stanford Internet Observatory told the outlet that the Twitter activity is a mix of genuine support for the young man and suspicious activity likened to Middle East digital marketing firms.
According to the Times, Twitter recently suspended around 900 accounts that posted about Herrin for violating the company’s platform guidelines, erasing around 90,000 of around 100,000 tweets in support of Herrin.
Additional reporting by the Associated Press