A 32 year old Seattle man has been arrested and charge with making death threats on Facebook aimed at the city’s openly gay mayor, Ed Murray and socialist city council member Kshama Sawant.
Mitchell Munro Taylor was arrested January 16, after staff members in the mayor’s office found more than 20 threatening and anti gay posts from his Facebook account on the mayor’s page two days earlier.
“Mayor, meet Harvey Milk,” said one post, referencing the San Francisco Board of Supervisors member who was shot and killed in 1978.
In another post, he wrote, “death to socialist council member.” While he did not directly name Sawant is was assumed that the post was meant for her since she is the only Socialist on the council.
According to the documents submitted by King County Senior Deputy Prosecutor Gary Ernsdorff the posts “include many homophobic slurs, a description of killing babies, rape and death references, and several menacing references to Harvey Milk.”
Taylor was remanded to the King County Jail under $600,000 bail after being arraigned on charges of malicious harassment, felony harassment and two counts of cyber stalking. The malicious harassment charge is the state’s hate crime statute and was filed because the threats against Murray were based on his sexual orientation.
In the 90’s Murray was one of the first openly gay legislators and became Seattle’s first openly gay mayor in last November’s elections.
As well as the post by Taylor calling for the death of the Socialist, which was aimed at Sawant, was another post which said, “feminists must get raped and die.”
Other posts aimed at the mayor simply repeated gay slurs over and over.
Taylor did not confine his rants to Murray and Sawant, and in others he said, “I will kill Mexican babies now I will stomp their heads into the pavement (sic),” and “Death to seattle police (sic).
During the bail hearing defense attorney Eric Lindell said that his client has Asperger’s Syndrome, a high functioning form of autism. Those with Asperger’s do not like change and are often very narrowly focused in their interests. They avoid eye contact and often suffer from selective mutism.
Sawant was also elected in November and is the first Socialist to be elected to the council and although she was not directly named in the posts, “she was concerned for her safety and the safety of her family,” the charges say.