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Federal law enforcement officers arrested a man in California on Thursday after he made repeated threats of violence against the Boston Globe newspaper this month, which included echoing the catchphrase popularized by President Trump that the news media are “the enemy of the people,” officials said.
Robert D. Chain, 68, of Encino, a neighborhood in Los Angeles’ San Fernando Valley, was charged with one count of making threatening communications in interstate commerce, which comes with a potential penalty of as many as five years in prison. Chain made at least 14 threatening phone calls to the Globe beginning Aug. 10, the FBI said in a statement, after the Globe announced that it was organizing a campaign for newspapers to respond collectively to Trump’s repeated attempts to demonize the media.
The article goes on to state the following:
“Anyone — regardless of political affiliation — who puts others in fear for their lives will be prosecuted by this office,” Andrew Lelling, the U.S. attorney in Massachusetts, said in a statement. “In a time of increasing political polarization, and amid the increasing incidence of mass shootings, members of the public must police their own political rhetoric. Or we will.”
Harold H. Shaw, the special agent in charge of the FBI’s Boston division, said that “making threats is not a prank, it’s a federal crime.”
Officials said that Chain began making threatening calls to the newsroom immediately after the Globe’s announcement, calling the Globe “the enemy of the people,” lambasting “fake news” and threatening to kill its employees. Many of the calls Chain made to the newspaper were recorded, the criminal complaint alleges. The majority came from a blocked number that officials said they traced to his home after they secured phone records from Verizon.
FBI: Man threatened to shoot Boston Globe staff, calling them the “enemy of the people” https://t.co/nYi8W7Jw2N
— Washington Post (@washingtonpost) August 30, 2018
The police arrested a man who threatened to kill journalists at Boston Globe after the newspaper coordinated press freedom campaign https://t.co/HV7B5d4BJN
— Mahir Zeynalov (@MahirZeynalov) August 30, 2018
The FBI just announced the arrest of a man from California who threatened to kill journalists at The Boston Globe following their recent editorial about the press.
In his phone calls, he referred to the press as “the enemy of the people.”
— Andrew Weinstein (@Weinsteinlaw) August 30, 2018
The Boston Globe’s statement to @THR on the arrest: “While it was unsettling for many of our staffers to be threatened in such a way, nobody – really, nobody – let it get in the way of the important work of this institution” https://t.co/4WcfdZPIhX pic.twitter.com/N8wE93flLq
— Hollywood Reporter (@THR) August 30, 2018
— Michael Rezendes (@MikeRezendes) August 31, 2018
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