On Friday, the Ohio Capital Journal reported that House Minority Leader Emilia Sykes received a call from an unidentified man threatening to kill her father unless she resigned from the legislature.
“The suspect claimed he had her father, Democratic state Senator Vernon Sykes, captive. He told her not to contact the police,” reported Jake Zuckerman. “He repeatedly told her to step aside, telling her to resign or else she would kill him. Emilia Sykes hung up the phone and called the number belonging to her father. Her father then answered the phone.”
“The report states Vernon Sykes had received a call 17 minutes before the suspect called Emilia Sykes, and that call was disconnected,” wrote Zuckerman. “The suspect had a southern male voice, per the report. Though not explicitly stated by police, the threat appears to be executed via a ‘spoofing’ attack, in which someone disguises their phone number as another’s.”
“Emilia Sykes has made headlines recently for criticizing Gov. Mike DeWine’s plans to address COVID-19’s disproportionate impact on black Ohioans. The lawmaker, a lawyer with a master’s in public health, characterized the plan as ‘too little too late,'” said the report. “She has also been vocal in her criticisms of the House Republican majority and its recent efforts to strip the Ohio Department of Health director of some of her powers to issue public health orders.”