Baraka says threats on his life being taken 'very seriously'

By Dan Ivers | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com
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on January 05, 2016

Newark Mayor Ras Baraka, pictured here in a file photo, said recently revealed threats on his life are being taken "very seriously."

 

NEWARK – Mayor Ras Baraka offered his first comments Monday about the recently revealed threats on his life, saying they were being taken "very seriously."

During a press conference to announce his intention to hire an attorney to oversee the Newark police department's internal affairs unit, Baraka said he found the two letters, originally sent in October, amidst a stack of mail at his mother's South Ward home.

Though he said he considered hostility from some constituents or other opponents, "part of the job", he said he took the greatest exception to where the letters had been directed.

"What's more frightening to me more than about my own safety is, I'm really more concerned about people going to my mother's home," he said. "It's a bit much for me as a human being."

Baraka called the nature of the threats "alarming" but declined to go into further detail, citing an ongoing police investigation. He added that he believed a single person had authored both letters.

"It makes me wonder about more than my own safety," he said. "We don't take this lightly."

Newark boosts security after threat against mayor, official says

During an afternoon appearance on SiriusXM's "Karen Hunter Show", Baraka was asked whether the threats spawned from a certain issue or position.

"It's not clear. It's just craziness," he said. "But you have to take everything seriously because you never know what people have on their mind and what they intend on doing, especially in this time that we're living in."

In a press release issued Saturday, the city said the threats also targeted city facilities, and that extra security precautions were being taken at City Hall.

The Essex County Prosecutor's Office has confirmed that they are supporting Newark police to help root out the origin of the letters, but few other details about the probe have been released.

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