CHESHIRE — Capitol Police are investigating whether a Twitter message directed at two General Assembly Democrats was a threat.
The message to state Rep. Liz Linehan, D-Cheshire, and House Majority Leader Matt Ritter, D-Hartford, has since been deleted. The author wrote that he wanted to “enlighten” the two legislators or their “satin (sic) spawn.”
Linehan, who also represents parts of Wallingford and Southington, responded on Twitter that “threatening our children will get you nothing except a visit from” Capitol Police.
Linehan and Ritter have been two of the most vocal Democrats calling for the elimination of the religious exemption to children’s vaccinations. Proponents of the exemption and Linehan have sparred online.
Capitol Police Lt. Glen Richards said Linehan made the department aware of the Twitter message.
“On the face of it, it doesn’t appear to be a true threatening,” he said. Police will investigate further and try to find out who wrote the message and why Linehan felt it was a threat to her children.
Richards said Capitol Police are providing Linehan with extra security and Cheshire police are paying more attention to her home.
He said it’s often difficult to find the author of an online post. Often they are just “people spouting off” anonymously.
“A lot of times we don’t even know who it was,” Richards said.
As a member of the legislature’s Education Committee, Linehan on Tuesday urged members to support a bill that would alert school nurses and others who can sign off on requests for religious exemptions that they can't be fired for refusing to do so. The bill passed 19-13.
Ritter, meanwhile, has said he wants a vote by the end of the 2020 session on eliminating the religious exemption for vaccines.
Linehan said the Twitter account had been “very very vocal, very often,” on the vaccination issue. She took the message to be asking where her children went to school and said she wouldn’t tolerate such threats to them.
“As a parent, I take it seriously,” Linehan said.
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