Authorities in Colorado have introduced a hate crime cost in addition to felony costs towards a 59-year-old man who allegedly left threatening voicemail messages for U.S. Rep. Joe Neguse. The Democratic lawmaker is Colorado’s solely and first Black elected member of Congress.
Per 9Wants to Know, Michael James Kennedy was arrested at his residence by Denver Police on April 6. The costs introduced towards him embody one felony depend of stalking – menace by means of repeated communications, one felony depend of retaliation towards an elected official, and a misdemeanor depend of bias-motivated crime – inserting the sufferer in worry. His bail was set at $50,000.
Courtroom paperwork acknowledged that Kennedy allegedly subjected Neguse to “repeated telephonic threats of gun-based violence and retaliation.” “The repeated threats included a transparent racial animus towards Rep. Neguse,” an investigator reported in an arrest warrant affidavit, which acknowledged that Kennedy made 17 completely different threats through messages – with the newest one being despatched in June 2022.
“What are you gonna do about me,” the accused man stated in a single message, per the affidavit. “I obtained me a AK-47 pointed instantly at you.”
Most of the threats made reference to the Buffalo mass taking pictures that took the lives of 10 Black folks. In one of many calls, Kennedy requested Democrats to “rise up and say white supremacy.” He additionally pronounced Neguse’s title as “negroes” on a special name.
Throughout questioning in June, the affidavit acknowledged that Kennedy advised Denver police that he didn’t intend to shoot the Black congressman, including that his plan was to “scare him.” He additionally stated he was going to cease calling Neguse.
Although no weapon was present in Kennedy’s residence after investigators performed a search, the affidavit acknowledged that the accused man expressed his want to buy a firearm, 9Wants to Know reported.
In addition to Neguse, Kennedy can be accused of leaving threatening and “racially-charged messages” for Democratic politicians, together with Denver Mayor, Michael Hancock – who can be Black; U.S. Rep., Diana DeGette; and Colorado Gov., Jared Polis.
The son of Eritrean immigrants, Joe Neguse made historical past in 2018 when he turned Colorado’s first Black U.S. consultant. He additionally retained his seat in 2020 and 2022.