The wave of political violence continues to roar across the country — the latest threat being to Illinois Republican gubernatorial candidate Darren Bailey.
Speaking with reporters at ABC 7 News, Chicago, Bailey said he and his family had received very disturbing voice mail threats — prompting him to cancel campaign events.
The Chicago Sun-Times reported that the threats caused “schools affiliated with Bailey and his family in southern Illinois” to be “placed on soft lockdown.”
Bailey reported the calls to the police who were able to trace them to 21-year-old Scott Lennox.
According to the Cook County state attorney’s office, Lennox has been charged with one felony count each of threatening a public official, telephone harassment and harassment by electronic communications.
Reportedly, Lennox threatened to torture, then assassinate, Bailey and later bragged to friends about making the death threats.
Blaze Media reports that prosecutor Lorraine Scaduto said, “Lennox was with friends at a bar on Friday when a political ad aired on TV that infuriated him.”
According to the police report, Lennox then became embroiled in a “heated [political] argument,” after which he reportedly left voice mail messages at Bailey’s campaign office in Springfield at 10:27 p.m.
The rambling voicemail message reportedly threatens:
“I’m going to skin Darren Bailey alive, making sure he is still alive, and I’m going to feed his f***ing family to him as he is alive and screaming in f***ing pain. “He is a piece of white a** racist s**t, and honestly, if he doesn’t kill himself, I will. You know what? I know where he lives. I know where he sleeps. I know where his kids sleep. And I know the f***ing school he works at…
“The candidate teaching all this mother f***ing misinformation is going to die,” Lennox allegedly said. “So honestly, he should just kill himself before anything else happens…
“So f*** him for being a piece of s**t,” Lennox allegedly said of Bailey in the voicemail. “So you know what? I am going to take anything and everything possible. You know what? I am going to make him scream. I am going to make him scream and suffer. Yeah, that’s right. So he better kill himself, and if he doesn’t, I am going to kill him.”
Bailey released a statement on his campaign website, touching on the issue of abortion, which Lennox also addressed in a portion of his voice mail yet to be released to the public. The statement reads:
“As a man of faith, Darren is proudly pro-life and will always stand up to protect the rights of the unborn. Darren believes in the sanctity of life, and as a state legislator, voted against the extreme overhaul and expansion of abortion access in Illinois. Darren opposes state and taxpayer funding of abortions. As Governor, he will continue to defend innocent life.”
Chicago Police Department officers report that Lennox made the disturbing voice mail “for shock value” and later boasted about his behavior to four friends.
In a Snapchat message to a friend that included four crying laughing emojis, Lennox wrote: “Dude… [Bailey] is on lockdown and now he has to be surrounded by security.”
CWBChicago reported that Lennox has no remorse, noting that he said:
“I don’t feel bad about it at all … I’m a political terrorist. I sent a super ‘threatening’ … message to [Bailey].”
One friend suggested to Lennox that he should have made the calls anonymously. Lennox reportedly responded, “No, dude. Normally I did, but I left a voicemail cuz I wanted him to know it was me. Dude, his entire family is on lockdown. I feel so f***ing accomplished.”
Police arrested Lennox at approximately 10 p.m. on Monday. Bail has been set at $75,000.
At the bail hearing, Judge Susana Ortiz said of the threats:
“It’s clear that the intent wasn’t merely just to leave some rambling message, but for this threat to be conveyed and have an impact on the public official.”
Ortiz added that the social media conversations “make it evident that there is certainly no remorse about this action and taking delight and pleasure in everything that flowed from this incident. It simply will not be tolerated.”
Bailey commented that the current governor, J. B. Pritzker, a progressive Democrat, is responsible for inviting political violence, saying, “This is a product of J.B. Oritzker’s Divisive, inflammatory, and misleading rhetoric … [which is] is driving hatred across our state as some attempt to label political opponents as dangerous threats.”
Baily added: “Whether we agree or disagree on policies, we are all Americans. I pray this young man gets the help he needs. We must bring our state together and fight for the safety and prosperity of every Illinoisan.”
Pritzker tweeted, “The violent rhetoric and division we’re seeing across our country is unacceptable. Hatred in any form has no home in Illinois.”
Scroll down to leave a comment and share your thoughts.