Attack on Paul Pelosi: State Senator Scott Weiner remembers David DePape from 10 years ago; details the death threats he faced

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) — As new details emerge about Friday morning’s attack on Paul Pelosi, elected officials are paying closer attention to their own security details.

Threats of violence against political leaders are on the rise, according to recent data released by the United States Capitol Police Threat Assessment Team.

California State Senator Scott Weiner said the lack of security has become a topic of interest, not only at the federal level, but also at the state and local levels.

Weiner said he regularly receives threats regarding legislation he drafted on LGBTQ+ civil rights and access to vaccines.

RELATED: Paul Pelosi attack: SF home security cameras not monitored at time of break-in, police confirm

“I have received thousands of death threats against me in recent years,” he said. “I had a bomb threat on my house. They had to bring in bomb-sniffing dogs. I had a guy who threatened to come find me with a gun, and he was chased, and I testified before a jury. In this case, it was I had people threaten to behead me and send my head to my mother and all kinds of other threats.

Weiner said threats like this undermine democracy and prevent elected officials from focusing on ongoing issues and the thoughts of their constituents.

“And when you also have to think in the back of your head, ‘Is this going to get me killed?’ that undermines democracy,” he said.

He also reflected on Pelosi attack suspect David DePape, from Weiner’s time on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors.

VIDEO: Rep. Khanna condemns Pelosi attack, says any threat of political violence is ‘unpatriotic’

He recalled that DePape was one of the protesters at a time when public nudity was a central topic at City Hall 10 years ago.

“So I know him. But it’s clear in the last few years that he’s been completely brainwashed by right-wing conspiracy theories, on anti-Semitic conspiracy theories, QAnon-like stuff. And that is absolutely what led him to target President Pelosi,” Weiner said.

In response to what can be done to prevent further violence, Weiner had a few ideas, some of them around social media misinformation.

“Platforms need to do a better job of getting rid of garbage, like crazy and dangerous conspiracy theories that incite people to violence. But Republican leaders need to step up and be prepared to condemn this type of violence, which few between them are done now,” he said.

Since July, members of the US Congress can receive up to $10,000 to improve the security of their homes, thanks to a program set up by the Sargent House of Arms. Weiner said the funding is great, but not enough.

“We’re very exposed, whether it’s members of Congress, state legislators, city council members, school board members, and so we need more support,” he said.

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