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10/25/2018 11:17:00 AM
ISP investigating death threat texted to Democratic candidate for legislature

Christopher Stephens, Herald Bulletin

CICERO – Indiana State Police are investigating a death threat sent via text message to Democratic House District 32 candidate Amie Neiling.

Running in a heavily rural and Republican district, Neiling said she had expected some pushback against her liberal campaign.

“I fully expected to get some of the partisan swings. I don’t condone them, but I have been called a socialist witch and a baby killer. It honestly doesn’t bother me,” she said. “I have been a nurse for over half my life. I have built up a thick skin.” 

But last week during a routine night of sending text alerts through an app called “Hustle” to registered voters, Neiling received a reply that stopped her cold.

“This person sent back: ‘We are working on getting this liberal c-(expletive) assassinated,'” Neiling said. “When I saw the word ‘assassinate’ that kind of took my breath away for a second.”

Taking the person at their word, Neiling called the Cicero Police Department to report the threat, who then passed the information along to Indiana State Police.

Pendleton District ISP spokesman Sgt. John Bowling confirmed state police in Indianapolis had an “ongoing investigation” into the threat.

Neiling said she waited a week to report the threat to the public until after police apprehended the person accused of making the threat, for fear of interfering with the investigation and retaliation.

“Right now, it is in the hands of the prosecutor whether or not to go forward, and I do want something done,” she added. “You can’t say these things and think they are funny, or a clever response.”

The threat’s announcement comes during a week in which suspicious packages that appear to be explosives have been sent to several politicians and donors, including George Soros, Hillary Clinton, and former President Barack Obama. 

Though it may seem like the partisan animosity is new, Neiling argues it’s always been there, just now some people feel it’s OK to react in violence.

“I think it's something that has always been like this, but they have made it acceptable to voice them and to act on them,” she said.

But in the era of Me Too, as a woman, Neiling said it’s her responsibility to stand up against threats, especially ones made using a slur exclusively used against females.

“When women speak up and use their voice … some men think it’s OK to make these types of threats and we are expected to just laugh it off,” she said. “Unfortunately for this person, they picked the wrong girl to mess with, and I will do everything in my power to make sure there are at least some consequences to this person’s actions.”

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