DENVER (CBS4) – There’s been a lot of support for a Colorado lawmaker who became the target of death threats over her stance on gun control issues.
Franklin Sain, 42, was arrested in connection with the threats against Rep. Rhonda Fields, D-Aurora. Now some local religious leaders are questioning why Sain was released.
Denver’s leading black ministers call the judicial handling of Sain shameful. He was released on a $30,000 bond that was set by a judge. Fields supporters are calling for more to be done to prosecute the man who threatened her.
Denver’s leading black ministers say Sain’s letter to Fields should be enough to keep him in jail through a trial.
“I think it should have been much more. Do we have to wait until somebody has literally been shot?” Patrick Demmer with the Church of God in Christ said.
The profanity-ridden letter repeatedly calls Fields the n-word and c-word. It calls for violence against Fields, another legislator and Fields’ daughter, saying she should be shot like former U.S. Rep. Gabby Giffords.
Fields responded again — this time in tears.
“The threats and the emails have shaken me. It has shaken my soul. When anytime … threatens my family, threatens my daughter, threatens me just because I’m doing my job as a public official, it hurts deeply,” Fields said.
Fields got into politics after her son Javad and his fiancé Vivian Wolfe were killed by a gunman. Gun control is her issue.
Fields is being protected by extra security. In an interview earlier this week Sain’s attorney, Siddhartha Rathod, said Fields was exploiting the threat for her political cause.
“Rep. Fields appears to be attempting to gain a political advantage in the Second Amendment debate on gun control,” Rathod said.
The case is under review. Denver’s district attorney says a higher bond and hate crime charges could be considered, but the district attorney will have to determine if the letters’ content represents a legitimate threat or just hateful sentiments.
“Knowing what’s in the affidavit, it’s disturbing, it’s very disturbing, but the review that’s done is done as a legal review. It’s based solely on what the facts are that are contained in that investigative file against what the law says,” Lynn Kimbrough with the district attorney’s office said.
Sain will be in court March 8.
Fields supporters say if Colorado laws do not classify the content of the letter as a hate crime they may push legislators to revisit those laws to make them more strict.