Michigan officials face threats in wake of election results

SOS Jocelyn Benson speaks to Local 4 News after protesters gathered outside her home

Michigan officials face threats in wake of election results
Michigan officials face threats in wake of election results

DETROIT – As Michigan’s election results sit in the national spotlight officials on both sides of the aisle say the rhetoric has turned dangerous to the point where lawmakers are getting death threats.

That also included a protest Saturday night at the home of Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson.

On Saturday, Michigan State and Detroit police responded to a report of several armed protesters gathered outside of Benson’s home.

Benson spoke with Local 4 News Monday and discussed how law enforcement is handling issues like this one.

“By mountains of evidence this is the most secure accessible election we’ve had. And 5.5 million voters participated and their voices were heard...But particularly in that moment you realize that individuals who are unhappy with or protesting or shouting obscenities outside my home, they’re actually not targeting me, they’re targeting me as a personification of the will of the voters,” said Benson.

Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy also commented on the incident and is deeply concerned.

“The First Amendment does not protect one from criminal activity. So, should there ever be information brought to me that could be criminal in nature, this does not protect you. I just personally think that what happened to our Secretary of State was despicable,” said Worthy.

Details: Michigan SOS Jocelyn Benson says armed protesters gathered outside her Detroit home

Michigan Rep. Cynthia Johnson, the Democratic chair of the House Oversight Committee received death threats over the election. She posted several of the threats to social media. Multiple voicemails said she should be lynched and some use profanity and racial slurs.

Protesters demonstrate outside home of Michigan SOS
Protesters demonstrate outside home of Michigan SOS

On behalf of Benson, department spokesperson Jack Rollow shared the following message Sunday regarding the incident:

“Let’s be clear -- Secretary Benson just oversaw the largest and most secure election in our state’s history.

By standing armed outside the home where she raises her child, these individuals do not threaten her. They threaten to silence all voters across this state.

Secretary Benson will continue to use every tool at her disposal to protect the votes and voices of the 5.5 million Michigan citizens who cast ballots in this election, and she would have done so no matter the president they had selected.

The voters have spoken and their will has carried the day.”

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About the Authors:

Natasha Dado is a digital content producer for ClickOnDetroit.