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Thursday, April 18, 2024

Death Threats and Public Service

 Many posts have discussed political violence.

Jane C. Timm and Joe Murphy at NBC:

Threats and harassment against local public officials rose in 2023, according to research tracking political violence and hostility provided to NBC News.

The researchers found that threats and harassment against officials including city council members, school board members, poll workers, mayors and local prosecutors increased significantly in the second half of the year. Elected or appointed government officials and judicial officials are most likely to face such hostility, they found, with death threats and invasions of privacy being the most common methods.

In an effort to monitor hostility facing local officials, Princeton University’s Bridging Divides Initiative combed public reports and social media, drawing more than 750 examples of harassment into a database they plan to update monthly as a way of tracking the evolving threat landscape. The initiative is a research group that tracks political violence in the U.S.

Emily Matesic at WLUK-TV:

With just days until he leaves his seat in Congress, U.S. Rep. Mike Gallagher could be shedding some light on the reasoning behind his early resignation. Gallagher announced in February he wouldn't be seeking re-election. Then, in March, he said he would be resigning his seat, effective April 19.   In one of his last acts in Congress, the Republican -- who represents Wisconsin's 8th District -- chaired a House Select Committee hearing on China's possible connection to fentanyl overdose deaths in the U.S.

 After the hearing, Gallagher spoke with reporters about the hearing and the end of his time in Congress. Rep. Gallagher said, "This is more just me wanting to prioritize being with my family. I signed up for the death threats and the late night swatting, but they did not. And for a young family, I would say this job is really hard." FOX 11 reached out to Gallagher's office about his comments on death threats and late night swatting calls. It's unclear if any specific incident led to his early resignation. However, FOX 11 did confirm through the Brown County Sheriff's Office -- which patrols Allouez, where Gallagher lives -- a case number was assigned late last year to a swatting incident related to Gallagher. The Sheriff's Office said it reached out to U.S. Capitol Police about the incident. In January, the investigation was handed over to federal authorities, including Capitol Police, the FBI and the United States Secret Service.