DENVER - The African American Clergy and members of the Greater Metro Denver Ministerial Alliance hosted a press conference at the Colorado Capitol Friday in support the of state representative who received death threats after supporting stricter gun control measures.
Franklin Sain was arrested Feb. 22 for sending Fields harassing emails and voicemails between Feb. 13 and 15. The emails threatened the life of both Fields and her daughter, and contained racial and sexual epithets.
At the press conference, clergy members called for the Denver District Attorney's office to consider the threats a hate crime.
"The use of the n-word over and over in [the] emails and letters suggests that this is more than simple legislation he has a problem with," Reverend Patrick Demmer of the Greater Ministerial Alliance said.
Sain told police he was frustrated by Fields' efforts to tighten state gun laws. He was released from jail on a $30,000 bond, and will appear in court on March 8. He was arrested for harassment and trying to influence a public servant - a felony that could cost him the ability to possess guns if he is convicted.
Fields has received a restraining order against Sain, who was suspended from his job at a local tech firm because of the allegations.
"Yes, I'm still very afraid. [The letters, emails] were very racial. They were very harassing. They were threatening. [Sain] meant it. He knows my address. He knows where I work. So I'm very taken aback by it," Fields said.
Sain's arrest affidavit is available here [Warning: Some explicit language].
Siddhartha Rathod, Sain's lawyer, said the emails are protected under the First Amendment.
"Representative Fields appears to be furthering her political agenda by trampling on Mr. Sain's constitutionally protected free speech in order to infringe on all Coloradans' Second Amendment rights," he said in a statement released on Tuesday.
Fields' son and his fiance was shot and killed in 2005 before he was able to testify against a gang member.
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