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Man who threatened Slotkin and Stabenow charged; state Rep. Johnson receives more threats

court gavel
Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

A Michigan man charged with threatening elected officials has pleaded guilty to two counts of threatening public officials in Livingston County. Daniel Thompson from Clare County made threatening remarks in voicemails and emails to the offices of U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-Michigan) and U.S. Representative Elissa Slotkin (D-Holly).

Attorney General Dana Nessel said in a statement that Thompson will serve two years of probation and will pay almost $2,000 in fines.

“My office will not stand for threatening behavior directed at our public officials,” Nessel said in her statement. "I recognize Mr. Thompson's admission of guilt and appreciate my team’s work to ensure there’s accountability in this case. Public servants must be able to do their jobs free from intimidation and fear.” 

Slotkin and Stabenow are not the only elected officials to receive threatening messages. State Rep. Cynthia Johnson (D-Detroit) received death threats back in December, and has reported a more recent threat that law enforcement is investigating.

Johnson said the most recent message was so violent and racist that her staff urged her not to listen to the voicemail.

"They didn’t want me to hear it," she said. "We had to have a couple of words for me to say hey, I’m the boss, it’s in my name, I need to hear it, and she sent to me and … it broke me down a couple times yesterday. It really did."

Johnson said she was shocked by how explicit the message was. She said the caller used various racial slurs and threatened her with violence.

"It literally made me pull over to the side so that I could fully listen to it so I would not have an accident. I was shocked when I first heard it. I couldn’t believe that someone would speak to any human being like that."

Johnson said she's glad Thompson was charged in Livingston County's district court, but said it's notable that both Slotkin and Stabenow are white. She wants threats towards Black lawmakers like herself taken more seriously by law enforcement.

"I have received thousands of threats, and to my knowledge, nobody has been convicted. As a matter of fact, when Black women speak, we are dismissed. And honestly, I'm tired of it."

Caroline is a third year history major at the University of Michigan. She also works at The Michigan Daily, where she has been a copy editor and an opinion columnist. When she’s not at work, you can find her down at Argo Pond as a coxswain for the Michigan men’s rowing team. Caroline loves swimming, going for walks, being outdoors, cooking, trivia, and spending time with her two-year-old cat, Pepper.
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