A suspected white supremacist has been federally indicted for allegedly physically threatening the Georgia district attorney who is prosecuting Donald Trump and more than a dozen others in a sweeping RICO case centered on allegations that he attempted to overturn the 2020 election results in the Peach State.
Alabama man Arthur Ray Hanson, II, was upset over the prospects of Trump being forced to take a mugshot following the former president surrendering at the Fulton County Jail in August, according to the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), which announced the 59-year-old’s indictment on Monday. He was formally indicted last Wednesday.
Weeks before Trump and his 18 co-defendants turned themselves in and posed for the jail photographer, Hanson took it upon himself to leave a pair of threatening voicemails as it was reported that mugshots were expected in the case — something Trump had managed to avoid in his other three current criminal indictments.
In a voicemail message left for Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis, the DOJ said that Hanson is accused of saying the following:
“watch it when you’re going to the car at night, when you’re going into your house, watch everywhere that you’re going;” “I would be very afraid if I were you because you can’t be around people all the time that are going to protect you;” “there’s gonna be moments when you’re gonna be vulnerable;” “when you charge Trump on that fourth indictment, anytime you’re alone, be looking over your shoulder;” and “what you put out there, [expletive], comes back at you ten times harder, and don’t ever forget it.”
Hanson is also accused of lending the same threatening voicemail treatment to Fulton County Sheriff Patrick Labat:
“if you think you gonna take a mugshot of my President Donald Trump and it’s gonna be ok, you gonna find out that after you take that mugshot, some bad [expletive]’s probably gonna happen to you;” “if you take a mugshot of the President and you’re the reason it happened, some bad [expletive]’s gonna happen to you;” “I’m warning you right now before you [expletive] up your life and get hurt real bad;” “whether you got a [expletive] badge or not ain’t gonna help you none;” and “you gonna get [expletive]ed up you keep [expletive]ing with my President.”
Both Willis and Labat are Black Americans.
“Sending interstate threats to physically harm prosecutors and law enforcement officers is a vile act intended to interfere with the administration of justice and intimidate individuals who accept a solemn duty to protect and safeguard the rights of citizens,” U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Buchanan said in a statement. “When someone threatens to harm public servants for doing their jobs to enforce our criminal laws, it potentially weakens the very foundation of our society. Our office will labor tirelessly with our federal, state, and local law enforcement partners to help ensure that law enforcement officials are free to serve our communities without the threat of physical attack.”
The DOJ did not introduce the topic of race in its indictment of Hanson. However, if history is any indication, Hanson is just the latest in a growing line of white supremacists taking umbrage at Trump being held accountable for his actions that have prompted open racists to rally around the former president.
That is especially true when factoring in Trump’s mugshot, which he has wielded along racial lines in unsubstantiated claims that the jail photo has helped “quadruple” his support among Black people.
One of the people attacking Willis is Trump RICO co-defendant Harrison Floyd, the leader of the Black Voices for Trump group who stands accused of helping harass Black election workers Ruby Freeman and her daughter, Wandrea Arshaye “Shaye” Moss, and coerce them into admitting to election fraud in Georgia that absolutely never existed.
Harrison has been busy taunting Willis with a disrespectful social media meme and claims that her RICO case is the result of her “chasing clout.”
To be sure, America has a rich history of trying to silence Black elected officials like Willis.
“These events have been shown to be a form of ‘white backlash’ working to keep Black officeholders out of power and their constituents powerless without representation,” Rodney Coates, Professor of Critical Race and Ethnic Studies at Miami University, wrote in an op-ed.
That sentiment is particularly true when it comes to Black prosecutors who are women, who have to bear the extra burden of not just racist attacks but also those along gender lines. When Trump is factored into that equation, those circumstances are exacerbated, according to Bev-Freda Jackson, an adjunct professorial lecturer at the American University School of Public Affairs.
“Though Black women share the same responsibility as their white counterparts – enforcing the law and deciding who gets charged with what crime – many of their attempts to eliminate perceived structural racism and establish criminal justice reforms are often at odds with traditional tough-on-crime policies,” Jackson wrote in the days after Willis indicted Trump in August.
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