Alaska House threatened on social media over crime law vote
Work on state crime law was halted in the house Sunday afternoon after House Speaker Bryce Edgmon says someone threatened lawmakers on social media.
Emotions can run high when talking about crime and criminal justice reform-- both inside the capitol and outside the building.
On Sunday, House Speaker Bryce Edgmon says emotion turned to threat when he saw a post on social media.
It's labeled an open call for every Alaskan to steal and vandalize the vehicles of lawmakers who voted against an amendment to nearly repeal the state's crime law, Senate Bill 91.
“We’re going to treat this matter very seriously, and if it happens again, we'll treat it in a like-minded way,” Edgmon says.
It was posted by 29-year-old Ashley Dahm, a member of the U.S. Army who says he recently had his car stolen. Dahm declined to be interviewed on camera but spoke with KTVA through Facebook Messenger. He says this was all a misunderstanding.
"[I] definitely have no intentions on having any harm on those senators,” Dahm wrote. “I don't even really know them at all."
While the post may not have been intended as a threat, it was perceived as one.
The house speaker has this message for members of the public:
“Any sort of suggestion of retaliation, for lack of a better word, toward any member of this body from anybody in the general public will be dealt with swiftly and immediately.”
The lawmakers mentioned in Dahm's post are representatives, not senators.
A vote on the measure, Senate Bill 54, is expected Monday. After that, the Senate must consider changes made by the House.
KTVA has a crew in Juneau and will keep you updated right here on KTVA.com with any developments.
Past President of the PRSA Alaska Chapter Michelle Egan joined KTVA Extra on Monday to discuss social media perceptions.
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