Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) has been the target of “credible” death threats from a 32-year-old Detroit man who is now facing felony charges, The Detroit News reported.
The man is also accused of threatening the state’s attorney general.
Death threat against the governor
Gov. Whitmer has drawn criticism and angry protests for the better part of a month now over her strict and seemingly arbitrary coronavirus lockdown orders. Some anti-lockdown protests have included armed individuals and signs featuring pointed rhetoric — all of which is protected by the state’s open-carry law and, of course, the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.
According to The Detroit News, however, one of Whitmer’s detractors went too far.
Robert Sinclair Tesh is accused of having made “credible threats to kill” both Gov. Whitmer and state Attorney General Dana Nessel in a social media conversation with an unnamed acquaintance on April 14. It is unclear at this point exactly what was said.
That acquaintance must have reported Tesh’s remarks immediately because he was arrested later that same day. Tesh was arraigned about a week later on April 22 and charged with a false report of a threat of terrorism.
Tesh now faces up to 20 years in prison if convicted of the charge leveled against him. He is due back in court on June 3.
Intolerable and unacceptable behavior
“The alleged facts in this case lay out a very disturbing scenario,” Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy said in a statement.
“We understand that these times can be stressful and upsetting for many people,” the prosecutor added. “But we will not and cannot tolerate threats like these against any public official who are carrying out their duties as efficiently as they can.”
The Detroit News noted that Whitmer called on Republican leaders in Michigan to help calm the angry protesters — or at the very least, to condemn the threats of death and violence aimed in her direction, and the top Republican in the Michigan Senate did exactly that.
Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey (R) issued a statement on Tuesday condemning anyone who made “social media posts with crude, violent and threatening messages about our governor.”
“These folks are thugs and their tactics are despicable,” the Republican leader said. “It is never OK to threaten the safety or life of another person, elected or otherwise, period.”