LAW ENFORCEMENT INVESTIGATING …
|| By FITSNEWS || At least three South Carolina State Senators who voted to remove the Confederate flag from the grounds of the S.C. State House have received death threats in the wake of the vote, sources in the chamber tell FITS.
Two of the three reported the threats against their life to the S.C. State Law Enforcement Division (SLED), resulting in at least one ongoing investigation – sources at the agency tell FITS.
Last week we reported on lawmakers receiving threats over the flag … but those didn’t appear to be especially serious.
These do …
According to state law (S.C. Code § 16-3-1040), it is unlawful “for a person knowingly and willfully to deliver or convey to a public official or to a teacher or principal of an elementary or secondary school any letter or paper, writing, print, missive, document, or electronic communication or verbal or electronic communication which contains a threat to take the life of or to inflict bodily harm upon the public official, teacher, or principal, or members of his immediate family.”
Violators can receive a $5,000 fine or a prison sentence of up to five years. Or both.
Senators voted 37-3 this week to remove the flag from the north lawn of the State House in the aftermath of last month’s horrific, racially motivated “Holy City Massacre” – the mass murder of nine black churchgoers at the Mother Emanuel AME Church in downtown Charleston, S.C. The Mother Emanuel victims – among them S.C. Senator Clementa Pinckney, the church’s pastor – were gunned down during a Bible study by Dylann Storm Roof, a 21-year-old white supremacist who used the Confederate flag as his calling card.
We’ve written extensively in the aftermath of the shooting in support of removing the flag – and doing so expeditiously. We’ve also provided some extensive historical context related to this debate (see here and here).
The measure will be voted on one additional time by Senators before heading to the S.C. House of Representatives – where it will have to navigate a contentious debate over a proposed replacement banner.
House members have three options: They can pass the Senate bill, amend it or vote it down. If they amend it, the Senate would have to concur with any changes prior to the legislation being sent to S.C. governor Nikki Haley – a former flag supporter who now says she wants the banner to come down.