Reader Erroneously Says Vailliencourt Declined To Prosecute Online Threat
June 18, 2020
By Jon King / firstname.lastname@example.org
The case against a state employee who allegedly made a threat on social media against Howell has been referred back for additional investigation.
Late last month, as protests against police brutality were 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. However, the tweet gained thousands of likes and dozens of comments detailing negative experiences in Howell and the community’s racist reputation. It also generated outrage from area residents disputing that reputation and saying the tweet was an incitement to violence against Howell.
Despite Livingston County Sheriff Mike Murphy calling the tweet a non-credible threat, Howell Police filed a report with the Livingston County Prosecutor’s Office seeking charges of making a terrorist threat. On Wednesday, former Judge David Reader posted to his campaign Facebook page that Prosecutor William Vailliencourt had declined to file charges. "This is unacceptable and we deserve better in our elected official. Justice for All." Reader is running against Vailliencourt for the GOP nomination in the August 4th primary for Livingston County Prosecutor.
However, Vailliencourt issued a statement that the claim from Reader was false and that no decision has been made. “The matter was returned for further investigation to the Howell Police Department. It has not been completed or submitted to us to review.” Howell Police Chief Scott Mannor confirmed that the report was back in his department’s hands, but offered no further comment.
The woman accused of posting the message is a forensic psychiatry employee with the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. Public Information Officer Lynn Sutfin said the issue was investigated and disciplinary action taken against the employee, but declined to detail what that was.
Top Picture - David Reader
Bottom Picture - Image from David Reader's Facebook page