The Seattle Police Department (SPD) announced Friday that they had arrested a Seattle Fire Department employee for several crimes, including allegedly emailing threats against a member of the Seattle city council.
SPD said the 42-year-old employee was arrested on charges of “cyberstalking, computer violation and identity theft” discovered during an investigation into email threats sent to a councilor.
While the councilor was not named in the police testimony, District 3’s Kshama Sawant publicly requested an investigation into the city regarding email threats it received in January.
The series of emails sent from an official email account of a Seattle Fire Department employee began in December 2020 with death threats to leave Seattle. They read, “If you need help exiting, try jumping head first off the top floor of your building. I. I’ll even push you.”
Other messages Sawant received were, “If you don’t want to[ly] leave, we will make the decision for you by all means necessary. “
Sawant said she reported the emails in December but received another message just days before Joe Biden’s inauguration in January that read, “The time has come and you will run out of seats after tomorrow’s councilwoman. Announce your resignation now, or otherwise. “
As the only socialist member of the council, Sawant stressed the seriousness of the emails in view of the far-right attacks on the Capitol.
“I believe these emails must be very much given the current political context with an encouraged right wing nationally, the specific threatening content of the emails, and the fact that they came from a Seattle city email account be taken seriously, “wrote Sawant. “How is it possible that these threatening e-mails are allowed to continue? If the employee believes they did not send the threatening e-mails, has the department made no effort to secure their account? Has the employee not so done a lot? ” Why were no further steps reported to me? I hope real action has indeed been taken, but these facts weigh on credibility. “
The fire department employee was not identified.