FBI investigating threats against Michigan officials

The threats have resulted in two Michigan men being arrested.
Published: Mar. 10, 2023 at 10:02 PM EST
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - The FBI is investigating online threats against President Joe Biden, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel and the LGBTQ+ community.

The threats have resulted in two Michigan men being arrested.

Michigan has seen an uptick of violent threats recently. The latest targets Whitmer, Democratic politicians, law enforcement and the LGBTQ+ community. The violent threats reportedly came from a Sebewaing man named Randall Berka II. The FBI was tipped to a YouTube account titled “Kill all federal agents on sight and hang Biden,” which was traced to Berka’s home.

Members of the LGBTQ+ community said they don’t take the threats lightly. Transgender Michigan Executive Director Rachel Crandall said the threats evoke fear.

“It’s really horrible,” Crandall said. “A lot of people in my community are really scared, really scared regarding what’s next.”

For Whitmer, it’s not the first time she has faced violent threats. After a kidnapping attempt was stopped by the FBI, the new threats come after another Michigan man, Jack Carpenter, was indicted for posting threats to kill Jewish politicians to Twitter. Among those was Nessel.

Jeff Swartz, a Western Michigan Cooley Law School professor, said the status of the officials threatened makes this very serious

“If they’re willing to go as far as going forward with the plot to kidnap the Governor of the state of Michigan, put her on trial, and kill her just because she is a liberal person, you have to take seriously that someone like this would just go out and start hunting Jewish office holders,” Swartz said.

Berka appeared before a federal judge in Bay County Friday and Carpenter was in court Thursday. They both will have hearings next week.

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