DENVER (AP) — Denver police are investigating threatening e-mails sent to a Denver city councilman after he refused to appear on an Animal Planet show about pit bulls.

Councilman Charlie Brown said one of the e-mails he received referenced the recent shootings in Arizona that injured U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords.

“You are afraid because of what happened in Arizona and you should be,” read one part of the e-mail.

Police spokesman Sonny Jackson told said authorities are taking the threats to Brown seriously.

“Any threats like that we will take very seriously, especially in this climate,” Jackson said.

Brown said the threats started after he declined to appear on the show “Pit Boss” when it came to Denver. The show features former actor Shorty Rossi rescuing and retraining pit bulls.

“I’ve been rescuing pit bulls since 2000, never been bitten by a pit pull, never seen a pit bull ever bitten a human,” said Rossi. “It’s not the breed, it’s the people.”

Brown opposes overturning a 1989 city ordinance that bans pit bulls and told the show’s producer that whenever the issue comes up he receives alarming calls and letters.

Someone named Alex sent the most recent e-mail to Brown.

“He says I’m a coward because I didn’t go on the show and he uses language that I can’t use on television and it made him mad,” said Brown.

“Following the Tucson tragedy, I frankly don’t feel comfortable being a guest,” Brown said in the letter, which was reported by the weekly newspaper Westword.

“I apologize for any inconvenience this may cause and trust you understand the potential safety issue (that) appearing on your show could generate,” Brown said.

Denver’s pit bull ban in the city limits came after an animal bit the Rev. Wilbur Billingsley 70 times, breaking his two legs.

(TM and © Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


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