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US officials attacked, terrorized by divided nation

US officials attacked, terrorized by divided nation

  • Election officials, public health officials, school workers, police, flight attendants, scientists, journalists and food servers are among the targets of a proliferation of death threats.
  • Jeffrey James Higgins, a 25-year-old former law enforcement officer who defends police, said even overt threats might not be criminal if perpetrators claim they are joking or exaggerating.

Lydia Kou was in the middle of a Palo Alto City Council campaign when the first frightening appeal came last year.

An angry voice lambasted her stance on a hotel project, then launched into a tirade of nasty sexual remarks. Kou hung up, disgusted and scared. But the caller persisted, leaving a series of harassing voicemail messages,same call on someone else to help.

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