California man arrested for threatening Boston Globe employees
LOS ANGELES, USA – A California man has been arrested for making death threats against employees of the Boston Globe, which recently organized a newspaper editorial response to attacks on the media by President Donald Trump.
Robert Chain, 68, of Encino, California, was arrested on Thursday, August 30, and charged with one count of making threatening communications, the US Attorney's Office for the District of Massachusetts said.
Chain was to appear in federal court in Los Angeles later Thursday and would eventually be transferred to Boston, it said in a statement.
"Everyone has a right to express their opinion, but threatening to kill people takes it over the line and will not be tolerated," said FBI special agent Harold Shaw. "Today's arrest of Robert Chain should serve as a warning to others that making threats is not a prank, it's a federal crime."
The Boston Globe and more than 300 other newspapers around the country published an editorial on August 16 decrying Trump's relentless attacks on the news media.
"Today in the United States we have a president who has created a mantra that members of the media who do not blatantly support the policies of the current US administration are the 'enemy of the people,'" the Globe editorial said.
"This is one of the many lies that have been thrown out by this president, much like an old-time charlatan threw out 'magic' dust or water on a hopeful crowd," it added in a piece entitled "Journalists are not the Enemy."
According to the US Attorney's Office, Chain called the Globe newsroom repeatedly between August 10 and August 22, threatening to shoot Globe employees and calling the newspaper the "enemy of the people."
The Globe, citing an affidavit filed in the case, said that Chain owns several guns.
It quoted him as saying in one call: "As long as you keep attacking the President, the duly elected President of the United States, in the continuation of your treasonous and seditious acts, I will continue to threaten, harass, and annoy the Boston Globe."
US Attorney Andrew Lelling promised such threats would be prosecuted.
"Anyone – regardless of political affiliation – who puts others in fear for their lives will be prosecuted by this office," Lelling said.
"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," he said.
Chain could face up to five years in prison and a fine of $250,000. – Rappler.com
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