‘I’m Fearful’: Maxine Waters Bravely Attends Sentencing Of Convict Who Made Racist, Hateful Death Threats

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Longtime California Congresswoman Maxine Waters was present and accounted for this week during the sentencing of a man who was convicted for making racist death threats against her.

Waters was bravely in a Los Angeles courtroom on Monday when Brian Michael Gaherty, a white man from Houston, Texas, was told by a federal judge that he would be calling prison home for nearly the next three years as a result of his hateful actions against a duly elected official.

Gaherty was sentenced to 33 months in federal prison and fined $10,000 for a series of phone calls he made to Waters’ Congressional office that United States District Judge R. Gary Klausner determined were motivated by the lawmaker’s race – criteria that allowed a hate crime enhancement to be added to the sentence, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California said in a press release.

“Threats to harm or kill elected officials are anathema to our nation’s values and must not – and will not – be tolerated,” United States Attorney Martin Estrada said.

Gaherty specifically threatened to kill Waters by putting “a cap” between her eyes and said she “better watch your back,” among other threats laid out in the press release:

Gaherty admitted in his plea agreement to threatening to assault and murder Waters on four separate occasions in August and November of 2022. Gaherty made these threats with the intent to impede, intimidate, and interfere with Waters while she was engaged in the performance of her official duties.

Specifically, Gaherty left four voicemails at Waters’ district office in Los Angeles County, each of which contained a violent threat, profanity, and racist and misogynistic language. In August 2022, Gaherty threatened to “put a cap” between the congresswoman’s eyes,” “cut [her] throat,” “stomp” her.  He further warned that she “better move” because he and his “boys in the area” had a “contract” on her life.

Authorities contacted Gaherty and warned him to disengage in October 2022, but a few weeks later, he persisted with his violent threats. In November 2022, Gaherty left Waters two additional voicemails, informing Waters that she “done [expletive] up” by reporting his threats to law enforcement, and stated, “This ain’t no threat. It’s a …promise.” He also threatened to meet Waters “on the street” and “get in [her] face,” and again told her that he and his “crowd” had a contract to “take [her]… out.” Finally, he warned, “You better watch your back.”

While Waters displayed bravery in attending the sentencing hearing, she admitted that Gaherty’s threats had taken a toll on her, according to the Courthouse News Service.

“I’m fearful,” Waters told the court during sentencing. “I’m afraid to be approached by strangers.”

The Courthouse News Service reported that Waters “told the judge that the threats had given her nightmares; she found Gaherty’s promise to cut her throat particularly unnerving.”

Gaherty apologized to Waters and asked for her forgiveness.

But Assistant United States Attorney Laura Alexander said Gaherty’s words did damage even if he never acted on his threats. Alexander told the court that Gaherty intended “to silence [Waters]. To tell her, ‘Take up less space as an African American.’”

Waters suggested Gaherty’s apology was hollow and said his sentencing might help discourage others from making the same kind of racist and hateful death threats against anyone, let alone an elected member of Congress.

“I’m hopeful this will be a deterrent for those who would like to kill us and terrorize us,” Waters said before adding: “When you’re in that situation, you’ll do everything you can to avoid losing.”

This is America.


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The post ‘I’m Fearful’: Maxine Waters Bravely Attends Sentencing Of Convict Who Made Racist, Hateful Death Threats appeared first on NewsOne.

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