Florida man arrested after allegedly threatening to kill black Charlottesville candidate: report
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Federal prosecutors announced the arrest of a Florida man on Wednesday on charges that he made racially motivated threats against a prospective candidate that interfered with a city council election in Charlottesville, Va. 

Prosecutors said that a federal grand jury returned a sealed indictment charging 31-year-old Daniel McMahon with willful interference with a candidate for elective office, bias-motivated interference with a candidate for elective office, threats to injure in interstate commerce and cyberstalking. 


The indictment said that McMahon was found to have “used the internet and social media accounts to express his beliefs regarding race, color, national origin, and other topics."

“On these accounts, McMahon expressed and promoted his belief that white people are superior to member of other racial ethnic, and religious groups,” the document continued. 

“As alleged in the indictment, this defendant was motivated by racial animus and used his social-media accounts to threaten and intimidate a potential candidate for elective office,” U.S. Attorney Thomas T. Cullen said in a statement.

“Although the First Amendment protects an individual’s right to broadcast hateful views online, it does not give license to threats of violence or bodily harm,” he added. 

The indictment details a man with the initials “D.G.,” who was identified as an “African-American resident of the city of Charlottesville, Virginia, [who] decided to run for the Democratic nomination to the Charlottesville City Council” prior to Jan. 7.

The document said that D.G. planned to announce his candidacy at an event scheduled on Jan. 8.

The Daily Progress, a Charlottesville-area newspaper, later lined up details of the case to the campaign of Don Gathers, a local activist who co-founded a Black Lives Matter chapter in the city. 

According to the newspaper, Gathers had plans to run for a seat on the local city council as a Democrat earlier this year and sent out a press release on Jan. 7 detailing his launch party the next day.

In the press release, Gathers said that “the toxicity that permeates our City cannot continue; Charlottesville needs healing.”

“We need leaders driven towards unification and inclusion,” Gathers continued. “We need to figure out viable, reasonable solutions to our problems: affordable housing, the lack of a true living wage, and racial inequities in education, justice, housing, and other areas. I have the relationships, skills, and commitment to bring this leadership to our community.” 

But when Jan. 8 arrived, Gathers reportedly announced that he would not be launching his campaign due to health issues. He vowed at the time to continue his campaign later but did not.

Gathers did not return requests or comment from The Daily Progress on Wednesday.