Redistricting commission postpones meeting due to death threat

(Photo by Anna Gustafson)

By Allison R. Donahue, Michigan Advance

A Michigan Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission (MICRC) meeting Wednesday was postponed after the commission received a death threat, according to spokesperson Edward Woods. 

“At 1:06 p.m. today, the Michigan Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission received notification of a death threat received through email. We alerted law enforcement and they opened an investigation. As of now, the Commission meeting is suspended until further notice,” Woods said. 

The 13-member panel, composed of four Republicans, four Democrats and five independents, was formed after voters passed a 2018 state constitutional measure. 

Michigan State University Police and Public Safety Inspector Chris Rozman said the email was sent Tuesday, but wasn’t opened until Wednesday.

It is unclear whether the threat was directed at specific members or toward the commission as a whole. When asked, Woods did not clarify. 

“The MSU Police Department was contacted, and extra patrols were scheduled. The Michigan Department of State is requesting that this matter be further investigated by the [Michigan State Police]. This investigation is in the preliminary stages and is an active investigation. At this time there is no threat to the public,” said Lt. Brian Oleksyk, Michigan State Police spokesperson.

The meeting, which was postponed until around 3:20 p.m. Wednesday, is the first meeting to discuss the redistricting maps since the second round of public comment hearings ended Friday. 

The meeting is at the Michigan State University Union in East Lansing. 

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