State officials questioned an individual Monday responsible for a death threat toward Gov. Scott Walker posted on the social networking site Facebook.
According to Andrew Welhouse, spokesperson for Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald, R-Juneau, Walker received a death threat through a Facebook event page for a recall against the governor.
“I saw it with my own eyes,” WeIhouse said. “I heard secondhand that the Facebook page itself eventually deleted it.”
The threat, which Welhouse said was posted Friday, is comprised of an individual that wrote, “Rather than recall him … can we just kill him instead? Just curious.” Another individual commented on the post, “HA!!! He’s signed a bill allowing conceal to carry IN the capitol. ….. Someone just might get away with it!!!” to which the first individual replied, “I’m game!”
Capitol Police Chief Charles Tubbs released a statement regarding the online threat toward Walker. The statement said Capitol Police became aware of the threat Monday morning.
“Capitol Police takes any threat directed towards those who visit or work in the Capitol seriously, and Capitol Police investigators have identified and interviewed the responsible individual,” Tubbs said in the statement.
That statement also said Capitol Police does not generally comment on specific security issues such as death threats. No additional information as to the writer’s identity or possible charges filed has been released.
University of Wisconsin political science professor Charles Franklin said threats of any kind are taken very seriously by officials, despite how doubtful it is that an action will result from it.
“It may be unlikely, but the possibility is too grave to not treat it seriously,” Franklin said. “We have no way of knowing what the state of mind is of a person who writes something like that. Whoever writes such things needs to be found and investigated and determined whether they are a threat or not, and I’m sure that’s what will happen.”
According to Franklin, death threats probably happen more often than the public is aware of.
Franklin said this situation is an example of how often people write comments online without thinking about the repercussions that may result from them.
“It’s exactly the kind of random comment that people make on social media that has to be treated seriously,” Franklin said. “That is a bad image to whichever side that makes those comments.”