Exclusive: More Threats against Fresno Mayor and Popular Pastor

December 8, 2008 6:58:28 PM PST
Fresno Mayor Alan Autry and a prominent pastor are facing more threats over their stance on Proposition 8- a state wide measure that passed and banned same sex marriage.-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                    |   Download the First Life Threatening Email   |
                 |   Download the Second Life Threatening Email   |
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The FBI has taken over this case. Action News has obtained a second threatening email sent to the mayor. We also learned a third email was also sent to City Hall. It appears whoever is sending the message is taunting investigators.

Mayor Alan Autry said, "I stand by my decision to support prop 8." Autry denounces whoever is sending death threats. On the eve of election night, the mayor's office received a second threatening email. The subject line stated: "I'm back." The author wrote: "I hear you have police protection ... I may not take action against you and Pastor Franklin this week, next week or even this month, but I will strike when I feel it is convenient."

Mayor Autry read the message. Autry said, "I also don't think it is reflective of how the gay community feels. I think they would condemn it as much as I do."

The second email came five days after the mayor's office received the first death threat surrounding Autry's support of Proposition 8. He and Pastor Franklin lead the local effort to pass the measure to ban same sex marriage. The first email threatened to "gun down" both men also using words like "bigot and racist" to describe Autry and Franklin. Fresno's Police Chief Jerry Dyer said the FBI requested to take the lead. Dyer said, "The second email not as pointed, not as aggressive however still alarming. However, the third email we have received, I can't get into the details of that."

Dyer could not comment about the FBI's investigation. Police already searched a North Fresno home, but court records indicated a seized computer could not be connected to the threats. Whoever wrote the emails ended the second message with: "I refuse to let you or any other right-wing extremist dissolve my relationship of 9 years. Have a nice day!" Autry said, "This is the world we are living in. And this is the tactic some have taken as a result of Proposition 8."

Autry remains under police protection. Pastor Franklin has also taken steps to protect himself. We contacted the FBI for a comment, but our phone call was not returned.

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