INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — A Black girl who says she has acquired quite a few racist and threatening messages as an Indiana congressional candidate in opposition to Vice President Mike Pence’s brother known as police after listening to what she thought was gunfire earlier than a marketing campaign occasion.
Democrat Jeannine Lee Lake, who faces lengthy odds in opposition to Republican Rep. Greg Pence within the GOP-dominated sixth District, mentioned she had simply parked Thursday night outdoors Vera Mae’s Bistro in Muncie when she heard what she believes have been three gunshots outdoors the motive force’s aspect window. Lake mentioned she was rattled however unhurt, and he or she observed no harm to the car.
Muncie Police Capt. Steve Cox mentioned officers responded to the scene shortly after 8 p.m., and an investigation is ongoing.
“It’s terrifying to me,” Lake mentioned. “Now, in the scope of where we’re at with this campaign, in terms of some of the negative things, the harassment that’s happened, I do feel like things are escalating quite a bit.”
The accusations come as some law enforcement, election officials and politicians nationwide are involved about violence as a divided voters votes in a single of probably the most contentious elections in U.S. historical past.
Lake mentioned she started receiving racist telephone messages and harm to private property late this summer time after the Delaware County GOP printed her private deal with and get in touch with data in a Facebook submit. Many of the voicemails name her racial slurs and embrace different derogatory language.
“You’re nothing however a loudmouth frickin’ n(asterisk)(asterisk)(asterisk)(asterisk)(asterisk),” a person mentioned in a single of the messages Lake shared with The Associated Press.
She says that final month any person mailed her and two marketing campaign aides a 22-page doc containing non-public particulars about her pending divorce and private whereabouts. Lake mentioned she thought-about the packages to be “personal threats” as a result of the analysis gathered could not be discovered with easy on-line searches.
Delaware County Prosecutor Eric Hoffman, who reviewed the case, reported an “envelope contained photocopies of various election statutes and regulations that the unknown person or persons had mailed to Mrs. Lake.” The documents contained “no explicit or implicit threats,” he continued, adding, “given these facts, under Indiana law, no crime has been committed.”
Lake made a sheriff’s workplace report in September that any person vandalized property at her residence. She mentioned a private cellphone, door magnets and marketing campaign indicators have been stolen Monday from her marketing campaign RV after any person broke the again window.
Pence has denied any involvement within the incidents and asked that the prosecutor “conduct a full investigation.”
“Congressman Greg Pence does not condone any sort of this behavior and supports a full investigation,” Kyle Robertson, a spokesman for Pence, informed the AP on Friday.
Lake mentioned she’s now considering a suspension of all in-person campaigning actions as a consequence of security issues she has for herself and her employees.
“I’m afraid, and I hate that I feel this way,” she mentioned. “But all of these things together, it has my senses heightened — way more than during any campaigning before.”
Lake is the only Black woman working for federal workplace in Indiana this fall. Greg Pence simply defeated her in 2018 to win the seat, which Mike Pence held for 12 years earlier than changing into governor after which vice chairman.
Throughout her marketing campaign, Lake has remained outspoken about her stances in opposition to racism and bigotry and in assist of civil rights. This summer time, she additionally took to social media to criticize Pence for allowing the sale of objects with racist depictions of African Americans at a sprawling antiques mall he co-owns in Edinburgh, Indiana.
Casey Smith is a corps member for the Associated Press/Report for America Statehouse News Initiative. Report for America is a nonprofit nationwide service program that locations journalists in native newsrooms to report on undercovered points.