Bangkok Post

Man held for threats to Pelosi, Democrats


WICHITA FALLS: A Texas man, ranting on social media about the congressio­nal response to the coronaviru­s outbreak, has been charged with making death threats to Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other Democrats, federal prosecutor­s announced on Thursday.

Gavin Weslee Blake Perry, 27, of Wichita Falls, Texas, wrote on his personal Facebook page on Monday that Ms Pelosi was part of a satanic cult and that she and other Democrats should be killed, authoritie­s said. The posts were still online as of Thursday night.

Prosecutor­s said that Mr Perry wrote, “If youre a dem or apart of the establishm­ent in the democrats side I view you as a criminal and a terrorist and I advise everyone to Go SOS and use live rounds.”

The post, which used an abbreviati­on for “shoot on sight”, appeared beneath a screenshot of a tweet by Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, the Democratic leader, that was critical of President Donald Trump’s handling of the health emergency.

A second tweet, written by someone impersonat­ing Mr Schumer and criticizin­g Mr Trump for banning travellers from entering the United States from China, also appeared in the post.

“Shoot to kill,” Mr Perry wrote, according to prosecutor­s. “This is a revolution.”

Mr Perry was charged with transmitti­ng a threatenin­g communicat­ion in interstate commerce and faces up to five years in prison.

Mr Perry, who was arrested on Wednesday and remains in custody, did not have a lawyer as of Thursday, according to court records. He made an initial appearance in the US District Court in Northern Texas on Thursday via videoconfe­rence.

His alleged screed came as Congress and the Trump administra­tion were negotiatin­g a $2 trillion stimulus package to reduce the economic havoc caused by the pandemic. The Senate approved the package on Wednesday and it has advanced to the House.

Prosecutor­s said that Mr Perry told the law enforcemen­t officers who arrested him that they were violating his First Amendment right to free speech and that their actions were punishable by death.

“The Department of Justice takes the security of our public servants seriously,” Erin Nealy Cox, the US attorney for Northern Texas, said in a statement. “Americans are entitled to voice their opinions — but we will not allow them to threaten our officials’ physical safety.”

The threats against Ms Pelosi were posted beneath an article from an antiaborti­on website that Mr Perry shared on Facebook.

“Nancy pelosi is apart of a santanic cult and so are rhe people who work closly with her,” Mr Perry wrote, according to prosecutor­s. “Dems of the establishm­ent will be removed at any cost necessary and yes that means by death.”

 ??  ?? Pelosi: Accused of devil worship
Pelosi: Accused of devil worship

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