Charge Sought Against State Employee Who Asked For Howell To Burn
June 10, 2020
By Jon King and Mike Kruzman / firstname.lastname@example.org
Howell Police are seeking to charge the individual who made a social media threat about burning the city down.
Late last month, as protests against police brutality were occurring and being organized across the nation, one tweet gained traction, reading as “the first city to burn in michigan should be howell, all in favor say I.” The protests followed the killing of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer. That officer, and three others, have since been charged in Floyd’s death. However, the tweet gained 2,700 likes, 650 retweets, and over 75 comments, before being taken down.
At the time, Livingston County Sheriff Mike Murphy said they were in the process of doing threat assessments on the posts, but that, “it appears none are credible.” After further investigation, it was discovered that the person accused of posting the message is a forensic psychiatry employee with the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.
Upon receiving these results, Howell Police Chief Scott Mannor said they are seeking a charge of making a terrorist threat. If charged and convicted, the author of the tweet could face jail time. Livingston County Prosecutor Bill Vailliencourt confirmed that his office received the report and is determining if there is both sufficient evidence of any violation of state criminal laws, and if additional investigation is needed.
MDHHS public information officer Lynn Sutfin said they are aware of the issue and if a work rule violation is substantiated, they will issue the appropriate level of disciplinary action.