After Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords was shot on Saturday, Congressman Danny Davis’ (D-IL) office reportedly received a threatening email warning that “Danny Davis is next.”
Davis, a Democrat from Chicago’s West Side who has represented Illinois’s 7th congressional district since 1997, said he would normally ignore a threat such as this, but thought he should take action in light of the recent shooting.
“You know some things are cranks, some things are pranks,” Rep. Davis told The Chicago Tribune. “Some things you simply don’t know about, but I think in this climate it pays to be as cautionary as one can be.”
He has alerted the the Capitol Police, who will investigate the incident.
Davis will be in Springfield Monday along with other state officials to attend the inaugural ceremonies of Gov. Pat Quinn and other elected officials. Police are planning to keep security tight and include additional officers at the swearing-in, according to ABC 7 News.
According to the congressman, the email is from someone in the Chicago area who has been known to “do this before.”
Davis and other Illinois representatives said they would not allow threats of violence to prevent them from meeting with their constituents.
“It’s fundamental to my job, it’s talking to people, and more importantly than talking to them is being able to listen to them,” Rep. Luis Gutierrez, a Democrat from Chicago’s southwest suburbs, said.
Rep. Giffords remained hospitalized after being shot in the head as she met with constituents at a grocery store in Tucson. Six people were killed and at least 14 others were injured in the attack.
Twenty-two-year-old Jared Loughner was charged with two counts of murder and three counts of attempted murder. Additional state and federal charges could follow, FBI Director Robert Mueller said.
Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik, who is responsible for investigating the shooting of Giffords, added that “vitriolic remarks” by public figures may be partially responsible for the attack.
“When you look at unbalanced people, how they respond to the vitriol that comes out of certain mouths about tearing down the government,” he said during a press conference. “The anger, the hatred, the bigotry that goes on in this country is getting to be outrageous.”
“All I can tell you is that there’s reason to believe that this individual may have a mental issue,” he continued. “And I think that people who are unbalanced are especially susceptible to vitriol.”
Rep. Bob Brady (D-PA) said he plans to introduce a bill criminalizing the use of certain forms of threatening imagery against lawmakers and judges.