The Washington Post is reporting that a D.C. police officer, one who has worked as a motorcycle escort for the White House, has threatened to shoot First Lady Michelle Obama.
The officer, whose name has not yet been released, was allegedly overheard making comments about shooting the First Lady and then showing a picture of the gun he would use on his phone. The threat reportedly took place while several members of the Special Operations Division were discussing other threats against the Obamas.
One officer reported it to a higher officer and the Department is investigating.
“We received an allegation that inappropriate comments were made. We are currently investigating the nature of those comments,” D.C. police spokeswoman Gwendolyn Crump said in an e-mail. She declined to discuss the matter further.
There was no indication of a legitimate danger to Michelle Obama. A Secret Service spokesman declined to provide further details, saying in an e-mail that the agency was aware of the incident and “will conduct appropriate follow-up.”
The officer has not been fired or even suspended, but he has been reassigned to “other duties.”
Not long after Obama took office, in 2009, it was reported that he experienced 30 potential death threats a day, which was a 400% increase from the year before, when George W. Bush was in office. If anything, it’s gotten worse since 2009. While the Secret Service is particularly secretive on the number of threats, there have been some very public ones.
It would be naive to believe that the increase in threats isn’t racially based. An increasing number of Americans seem to view guns as solutions to their problems rather than as tools for personal safety or sport. Michelle Obama has been under constant scrutiny since her husband took office and even before. Despite the fact that as First Lady, her causes have been extremely tame, children’s fitness and health and veteran’s rights, she’s been called cold, angry, militant and worse (far worse) on right-wing blogs.
There’s no indication of the motivation behind the D.C. officer’s alleged threats, but one does have to wonder if this would have been an issue if the Obamas were white.