Jewish Michigan lawmaker says she, two others, were targeted

antisemitism larger impact
Posted at 12:22 PM, Mar 03, 2023
and last updated 2023-03-03 12:32:26-05

DETROIT (AP) — A Michigan lawmaker who is Jewish said Friday that she and two other legislators were contacted by the FBI about an armed man who was charged with making death threats on Twitter against Jewish state officials.

The FBI hasn't publicly identified the officials. But state Rep. Samantha Steckloff, a Democrat from suburban Detroit, said she was contacted when agents arrested Jack Carpenter III last week.

"They just said there were credible threats against myself and the other Jewish legislators and they were getting ready to arrest" Carpenter, Steckloff told The Associated Press.

Carpenter, who remains in custody, was due in federal court Friday for a bond hearing. Prosecutors want to keep him locked up while his case is pending.

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel identified herself as a target Thursday.

"You're getting threats constantly. ... It didn't really affect me probably like it should because I've been dealing with extremism and antisemitism since October, November," Steckloff said.

She said threats took off last year when Ye, the artist formerly known as Kanye West, made antisemitic comments in interviews and on social media. He has expressed some regret.

The FBI said Carpenter of Tipton, Michigan, was in Texas when he tweeted on Feb. 17 that he was returning to "to carry out the punishment of death to anyone" who is Jewish in Michigan government "if they don't leave, or confess, and now that kind of problem."

Carpenter also declared a new country — "New Israel" — around his home, according to the criminal complaint.

Investigators said he had firearms and ammunition in his vehicle.


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