Man arrested on hate crime charge for ‘sending death threats’ to gay police officers
A man has been arraigned on a hate crime charge, after allegedly sending homophobic death threats directly to law enforcement.
Daniel Silvera was arrested in New York City after sending an email to law enforcement officials that threatened to hunt down and murder gay police officers.
The 26-year-old was held on hate crime charges of aggravated harassment over his online messages.
Court documents state that on July 28, Silvera had sent a threatening email to New York Police Department detective Brian Downey, the president of the Gay Officers Action League.
The court heard that the email specifically named the ‘Gay Officers Action League’ in the email, threatening to “kill every gay and lesbian police officer with weapons”.
A further email on the same day to Sgt. Michelle Martindale of the Community Affairs Bureau LGBT Outreach Unit repeated the homophobic claim.
However, it turns out sending evidence of a crime directly to police officers is not that smart a thing to do.
Silvera was promptly arrested and arraigned on a hate crime charge, which could see him face a steep sentence if convicted.
The case also concerns rape threats that Silvera sent via email to New York City Council speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito.
He threatened: ““The sender will knock down the door and rape Speaker Mark-Viverito four times; the sender will rape Speaker Mark-Viverito at the City Council; and the sender will kill Speaker Mark-Viverito’s family with weapons.”
According to the New York Post, a judge set bail at $50,000.
The Gay Officers Action League was formed in 1982 “to address the needs, issues, and concerns of gay and lesbian law enforcement personnel” within the NYPD.
Over the years it has advocated for the rights of its members and has assisted them on matters of discrimination, harassment, and disparate treatment in the workplace.
It explains: “Our organization provides an arena for members to discuss their needs and concerns in a comfortable atmosphere without fear of job related reprisals.
“We provide a safe environment for a group of people who have been, and continue to be, victims of harassment and discrimination in the workplace. We also serve as a bridge between the law enforcement community and The LGBTQ Community at large.
“We are the first organization of its type in the world whose objectives are to promote the establishment of other chapters, throughout the United States and around the world.
“By striving for a high level of diversity and the inclusion of all people within the organization, we stimulate intellectual growth and self-awareness of our members.
“In doing so we aim to motivate our members to achieve a higher degree of efficiency in the discharge of their duties as law enforcement and criminal justice professionals.
“While the Gay Officers Action League is a positive force within the LGBTQ community, it is also instrumental in attempting to change homophobic attitudes in the workplace and in the community at large.”