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Man charged in making death threats to gay mayor, socialist council member

Saturday, January 25, 2014
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SEATTLE — A 32-year-old Seattle man accused of posting threats on Facebook against Seattle’s openly gay mayor and a socialist City Council member has been charged with malicious harassment, felony harassment and two counts of cyberstalking.

Seattle Times Mitchell Munro Taylor

Seattle Times
Mitchell Munro Taylor

Mitchell Munro Taylor was arrested Jan. 16, two days after Mayor Ed Murray’s staff found more than 20 threatening, anti-gay postings from the man’s account on Murray’s Facebook page, court documents said.

One post said “Mayor, meet Harvey Milk,” a reference to a gay rights activist and San Francisco board of supervisors member who was fatally shot in 1978.

Another post said “death to socialist council member.” Kshama Sawant wasn’t named but police say they think she was the target because she is the only socialist on the council.

The posts “include many homophobic slurs, a description of killing babies, rape and death references, and several menacing references to Harvey Milk,” King County Senior Deputy Prosecutor Gary Ernsdorff wrote in charging documents.

Taylor remains jailed on $600,000 bail, reported The Seattle Times.

At an initial hearing last week, defense lawyer Eric Lindell said Taylor has Asperger’s syndrome, a form of autism. The man has no criminal record.

According to an affidavit filed in court, the mayor told police he found the comments very offensive and considered some to be death threats. The same document said Sawant told police she was concerned for her safety and the safety of her family.

Both were elected last November and sworn in earlier this month.

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