David Koon has written encyclopedically in this week’s Times about the file I received from the State Police under the Freedom of Information Act about reports Sen. Jason Rapert had made about threatening social media communication.
It’s all there: The graphic and insulting remarks; the extensive man hours devoted to Rapert’s reports, the ultimate conclusion, after serious investigations of the matters, that none constituted a credible threat of danger to Rapert and thus no charges were brought. There’s even sympathy there, too, for Rapert as recipient of unpleasant Facebook and Twitter comments.
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What’s NOT there is the intensive lobbying campaign Rapert brought to bear on the State Police after my article that quoted a State Police spokesman that the threats had not been found credible, though they were taken seriously by all involved at the outset. He wanted support in repudiating the erroneous “narrative” he saw there.
He not only threw a barrage of requests at the State Police, his notes indicate he also communicated with Michael Lamoureux, Gov. Asa Hutchinson’s chief of staff. One of Rapert’s communications to the State Police director Bill Bryant notes that “Michael” had spoken to Bryant on the matter. It wouldn’t be a stretch to speculate that the governor played a role in the State Police decision to issue a clarifying statement several days later. Yes, police treated Rapert’s reports as credible threats at the outset, the statement said. But ultimately they concluded they were not. I don’t think this is any substantive change from what I’d written all along, though Rapert does.
At the risk of again exciting the excitable senator, here’s the record of the pressure Rapert brought to bear on the State Police after his unhappy discovery that complaints made to police are open to inspection under the FOI. Unedited.