Rhonda Fields: ‘I’m still very afraid’
DENVER — Rep. Rhonda Fields, addressing reporters for the first time since FOX31 broke news Monday of a man being arrested for death threats against her, said that she’s still scared for her life.
The sponsor of two gun control measures, including a ban on high-capacity magazines, Fields also told reporters that she’s taken out a restraining order against the man who emailed her and left voicemails threatening to kill her and using a stream of vile, racial epithets against her.
“I’m 58 years old and I have never been talked to like that,” said Field of the emails. “I was really shaken by them.”
Fields immediately compared the intimidation to that faced by her son, Javad, who was murdered by gang members he was set to testify against back in 2005.
“You all know my story,” Fields told reporters. “About nine years ago, my son was intimidated and threatened and it ended his life; he was ambushed and murdered. So when somebody threatens me and my family, I take that very seriously.”
Franklin Sain, who is accused of sending the emails, was suspended Tuesday by his employers, SofTec Industries.
“I’m glad they’re taking it seriously,” said Fields upon being informed of the company’s action.
Sain, 42, bonded out of jail last week.
“I’m still very afraid, just kind of shaken, my soul,” Fields said. “The kinds of tone and the threats in the email were very racial, very harassing and he meant it. He knows my address. I’m really disturbed. It saddens me.”
“We should be able to have a discussion about these things without having to threaten the person.”
Fields also reiterated that she won’t be “deterred by threat”, as she said in her initial statement issued Monday.
“I’m committed to the end.”
Sain’s attorney, Siddhartha Rathod, released the following statement Tuesday evening:
“We are deeply concerned about the government’s retaliation against Mr. Sain for his protected First Amendment political speech. We appreciate Representative Rhonda Fields’s service to our community; however, we remind you that Mr. Sain valiantly served his country as a decorated Iraqi war veteran. Representative Fields appears to be furthering her political agenda by trampling on Mr. Sain’s constitutionally protected free speech in order to infringe on all Coloradans’ Second Amendment rights.”
Fields’ attorney, Craig Silverman, later released a statement on behalf of his client:
“Representative Rhonda Fields is the victim of the criminal and despicable threats made by Franklin Sain. It is outrageous and offensive that Mr. Sain, through his lawyers, now continues this effort to frighten and bully Rhonda Fields. No Coloradan should have to endure terroristic threats of the kind made by Mr. Sain. Our democracy will not function well if government decision makers are subjected to this kind of brute intimidation.”