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ISP has probed 11 violent threats against Pritzker

Monday, Jun 29, 2020

* Tina Sfondeles

Illinois State Police have investigated 11 violent threats against Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker since the COVID-19 pandemic began, including an email from a man who vowed to “put a bullet through” the governor’s brain.

In another incident, a social media user asked in late May, “Anyone got a high powered sniper rifle I can have? The governor needs to die and I will gladly kill him.” Illinois State Police said they reached that person in the Chicago area, who said it was an attempt to “vent.” […]

Pritzker has been the target of so many threats over his handling of the COVID-19 pandemic that the Illinois State Police needed a PowerPoint presentation to detail them all. […]

The most serious of them came from social media, and each was investigated by agents with the Illinois State Police. The threats led the governor to beef up his security details, from the usual two to occasionally as many as five agents accompanying him to his home and to news conferences. […]

The most violent threat came in late April when State police investigated an email and eight comments sent by the same person. In an April 25 message, the person wrote, “you will suffer death, via a bullet in your brain.”

Go read the rest. Somebody forwarded me one of the threats Tina wrote about and I sent it to the ISP out of an abundance of caution.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

35 Comments »
  1. - Huh? - Monday, Jun 29, 20 @ 4:08 pm:

    This is just nuts. You may not like who is governor or what he has done. But you are absolutely not allowed to threaten him. That will result in a visit from the cops.


  2. - Demoralized - Monday, Jun 29, 20 @ 4:09 pm:

    Perhaps instead of just talking to them so they can tell us they didn’t really mean it they should receive a hefty fine that might make them think twice about making such threats. I don’t think any of these people should get off scott free just because they said they didn’t really mean it.


  3. - Blue Dog Dem - Monday, Jun 29, 20 @ 4:10 pm:

    Society is disgusting when we wish to harm or silence those that don’t agree with our way of thinking.


  4. - PublicServant - Monday, Jun 29, 20 @ 4:11 pm:

    The fervent right wing ideologues don’t like to see an effective democratic governor succeed. Unfortunately, a lot of people out there seek to divide us, from the very top on down, and there are a lot of people to easily effected by the agitators.


  5. - Original Rambler - Monday, Jun 29, 20 @ 4:13 pm:

    Saw “Pritzker Svcks” bumper stickers and yard signs in northern Illinois this weekend. Pre-printed in the same color and style so someone is paying for these and distributing them. Another step down in appropriate political discourse.


  6. - Top fo the State - Monday, Jun 29, 20 @ 4:17 pm:

    I saw a yard sign in Warren, IL against Pritzker. There is a lot of anger out there in this Covid environment, but both sides need to tone down the personal attacks.


  7. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Jun 29, 20 @ 4:17 pm:

    My best to the Pritzker family.

    This is wholly unacceptable.

    Punish to the fullest extent of the law.


  8. - Flapdoodle - Monday, Jun 29, 20 @ 4:19 pm:

    The yard signs and bumper stickers are all over west central Illinois — not very articulate but definitely worrisome. When people begin to move from generalized anger and frustration to focusing it on specific individuals or groups, that’s one step closer to trouble.

    What a messed up world we live in.


  9. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Jun 29, 20 @ 4:26 pm:

    Also, thank you to the ISP and their diligence in protection.


  10. - Just Sad - Monday, Jun 29, 20 @ 4:31 pm:

    It’s just sad that the man is doing his job and people are making these kind of threats against his life. I’m sure it’s hard on his wife knowing things like this is going on. I sure hope these people are made to understand this isn’t acceptable behavior.


  11. - CEA - Monday, Jun 29, 20 @ 4:32 pm:

    Is it just me, or does “I’m sorry I got caught, and by the way, I didn’t really mean it” seem like an inadequate defense to threatening a public official, a first-offense Class 3 felony? If a judge determines that an offender doesn’t represent a threat to others, the appropriate outcome would seem to be a plea bargain to a lesser offense and/or a suspended sentence or probation. If the State Police and State’s Attorneys are going to give nutters a “no blood, no foul” pass on explicit threats of violence, I don’t know why we even have the law on the books.


  12. - Lt Guv - Monday, Jun 29, 20 @ 4:45 pm:

    It’s not just you CEA. It’s inadequate and they should not go scott free. I think Demoralized was correct that when it’s determined it really wasn’t serious there should at least be a stiff fine. It’s not OK. There are consequences.


  13. - gone but not forgotten - Monday, Jun 29, 20 @ 4:56 pm:

    Oh yes. Let’s all sympathize with our Governor, but never about our President.


  14. - Lt Guv - Monday, Jun 29, 20 @ 4:58 pm:

    Gone. . . difference is it’s Trump making the threats in that case. Try again.


  15. - Commisar Gritty - Monday, Jun 29, 20 @ 4:58 pm:

    “gone but not forgotten - Monday, Jun 29, 20 @ 4:56 pm:

    Oh yes. Let’s all sympathize with our Governor, but never about our President.”

    That’s because nine times out of ten it’s the president’s supporters that are making the death threats and sending the pipe bombs. Liberals send threats like “I’ll poison your granola” or “I’ll revoke your library card.”


  16. - Lt Guv - Monday, Jun 29, 20 @ 4:59 pm:

    Besides, any crank making threats against the President should be prosecuted as well.


  17. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Jun 29, 20 @ 5:01 pm:

    === Let’s all sympathize with our Governor, but never about our President.===

    Huh? What?

    Who on his site hasn’t the the side of ANY elected official who is facing credible threats of violence?

    If you wanna be a victim for Trump take it some other way than trying to say anyone is advocating violence against his person.

    That’s not happening here, and I for one have said any personal threats to any elected officials are unacceptable at all times… period.

    Trump is a cult. That’s the only way these silly notions filter *here* thinking no one is against violence against officials.


  18. - Rich Miller - Monday, Jun 29, 20 @ 5:02 pm:

    ===but never about our President===

    You do realize that this is an Illinois-centric website, right?


  19. - Ron Burgundy - Monday, Jun 29, 20 @ 5:06 pm:

    –Oh yes. Let’s all sympathize with our Governor, but never about our President.–

    Well one is trying to save lives, and the other…


  20. - Father Ted - Monday, Jun 29, 20 @ 5:12 pm:

    I’ve never understood what value someone thinks they’ll derive from making these statements. At a minimum, people will think (know) you’re unhinged. At the other end of the spectrum, you get in big, big trouble.


  21. - Joe Bidenopolous - Monday, Jun 29, 20 @ 5:27 pm:

    There needs to be consequences for this aside from a simple visit from the police. They need to be charged.

    I saw two bumper stickers today side by side on a light pole on the north side of Chicago. One said, “Pritzker is a terrorist” and the other said “Face mask = Mark of the Beast”

    There are some real loonies out there. Everyone needs to keep that in mind and stay safe.


  22. - State Attorney - Monday, Jun 29, 20 @ 5:50 pm:

    == There needs to be consequences for this aside from a simple visit from the police. They need to be charged. ==

    This is part and parcel of everything in the BLM movement, going back to the start of the drug war. Poor black and brown people get in trouble and get sent to jail for years for things like “submitting a provisional ballot as a felon when the election judge tells you that you can” while angry white guys get a stern talking to for threatening to assassinate a public official.


  23. - TheInvisibleMan - Monday, Jun 29, 20 @ 8:32 pm:

    Out of curiosity, how many threats did Rauner get. And how many came after he signed HB40.

    This seems to be predominately coming from a certain ideology.


  24. - Latina - Monday, Jun 29, 20 @ 9:19 pm:

    Geez Louise all the paid Pritzker boys are coming to his defense job well done. Wonder how many of his additional security detail is black or brown? Hmmmm


  25. - Jibba - Monday, Jun 29, 20 @ 9:46 pm:

    Not paid, not even all Dems. Just like we’d oppose threats to all politicians like a normal human being would.


  26. - All this - Monday, Jun 29, 20 @ 9:50 pm:

    == Geez Louise all the paid Pritzker boys are coming to his defense job well done.==
    That’s an interesting comment, considering that we are talking about threats to a public official and how to deal with it, not some particular policy.


  27. - 17% Solution - Monday, Jun 29, 20 @ 10:09 pm:

    Because people have to be paid to object to death threats?


  28. - 37B - Monday, Jun 29, 20 @ 10:33 pm:

    Hmm. Was my earlier post bounced or did I fail the send it?


  29. - Candy Dogood - Tuesday, Jun 30, 20 @ 12:07 am:

    ===but both sides need to tone down the personal attacks.===

    I really enjoy reading a good false equivalency logical fallacy. Always makes for some lighthearted reading.

    Regardless, I think it would be appropriate to send some of these cases to prosecution in such a fashion that it becomes illegal for them to purchase or own a firearm.


  30. - The Dude - Tuesday, Jun 30, 20 @ 6:46 am:

    What’s the number compared to Rauner?


  31. - pool boy - Tuesday, Jun 30, 20 @ 8:10 am:

    Agree with Blue Dog Dem and Oswego Willy. There is no place for this.


  32. - SOIL M - Tuesday, Jun 30, 20 @ 8:39 am:

    Everyone of them should be charged with a felony. I disagree with a lot of what the Governor says and does. There is no place for these types of threats on anyone, and especially not an elected Leader. If you dont like him, work to beat him in 2 years. At no point is it acceptable to openly threaten his, or anyone’s life. This has actually made me agree with many on here, who I usually dont agree with. Candy is right, charge these with a felony, revoke Foid/CCL.


  33. - Froganon - Tuesday, Jun 30, 20 @ 8:51 am:

    Agree with Candy Dogwood, threats of violence/death against anyone should result in an automatice suspension of FOID cards and surrender of all guns until a mental health evaluation determines the person isn’t a danger to his/her target. Fines for idle threats, mental health treatment for those needing it, prosecution for the rest. Threatening to kill anyone should not be protected speech.


  34. - Nick Name - Tuesday, Jun 30, 20 @ 9:00 am:

    I don’t know what’s worse, death threats against our governor or people getting all snowflakey about people who object to death threats against our governor.


  35. - Amalia - Tuesday, Jun 30, 20 @ 9:17 am:

    @State Attorney, yes, but the visit them and give them a talking to mentality also applies to lots of the criminal justice wishes surrounding the BLM movement. I do not agree. prosecute them for threats, whether threatening the governor, or the president, or an average citizen.


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