First Black Female Prosecutor In Massachusetts Continues To Face Daily Death Threats

First Black Female Prosecutor In Massachusetts Continues To Face Daily Death Threats

The first Black woman named to lead the US Attorney’s Office for Massachusetts was sworn into her post on Monday as she continues to face daily death threats.

The violent and racist threats Rachael Rollins has been receiving have been reported to authorities. She is still seeking protection from the US Marshals Service, which denied her security late last year. The threats, which come in letters and on social media, began to escalate after Rollins was narrowly confirmed by the state Senate in December when Vice President Kamala Harris gave the tie-breaking vote in Rollins’ favor.

The threats against Rollins have led to calls pushing the Justice Department to protect people of color in the federal judicial system, which has become significantly diverse compared to previous years.

According to CNN, faith leaders, community organizations, and civil rights activists have sent a letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland questioning why the Marshal Service has refused to protect Rollins.

Rev. Jeffrey Brown, the associate pastor for the Twelfth Baptist Church, added that threats against Rollins were posted in the responses to his congratulatory tweet to Rollins on her appointment.

Those posting the threats against Rollins do not agree with her stance to not prosecute low-level crimes in her role as district attorney.

“We have been through an era where others have been killed because of the stances that they were taking,” Brown told CNN, adding that women of color are bearing the brunt of such violence. “I believe the threats are coming because the atmosphere feels like they can easily target women of color.”

In recent years, threats in general against public officials, including politicians, federal judges, and prosecutors, have grown as politics have become more polarizing.

According to a CBS report, threats to federal judges have jumped 400% to more than 4,000 last year. Additionally, the US Marshals Service tracked more than 4,250 “inappropriate communications/threats to protected persons” in each of the past three fiscal years.

By all accounts, Rollins seems undeterred by the threats and is focused on doing her work.

“I’m inheriting a great office. But I’m also aware that we have a lot to do when it comes to educating the community about who we are and what we can do for them,” Rollins told CNN ahead of Monday’s events. “After we have coffee, I’ll give my family a tour of my office, and when they leave, that’s when the work begins.”