A Maryland man has been charged with threatening the Human Rights Campaign, referencing the Nashville school shooting, in which the shooter was said to be transgender.
The Department of Justice filed a criminal complaint Monday against Adam Michael Nettina, 34, of West Friendship, Md. He is accused of making the threat by phone to HRC’s Washington, D.C., headquarters the night of March 28. A transcription of his voice mail, contained in the complaint, reads as follows:
“You guys going to shoot up our schools now? Is that how it’s going to be? You just gonna to kill little kids. You’re just going to slaughter fucking little kids. Let me tell you something, we’re waiting, we’re waiting. And if you want a war, we’ll have a war. And we’ll fucking slaughter you back. We’ll cut your throats. We’ll put a bullet in your head. We’re not going to give a fuck. You started this bullshit. You’re going to kill us? We’re going to kill you ten times more in full.”
The March 27 shooting at Covenant Presbyterian School took the lives of three children and three adults. The shooter, who was killed by police, was said to have been a trans man. Right-wing politicians have been using the shooter’s supposed identity to stir up hatred of trans people, although mass shooters are overwhelmingly cisgender men, a majority of them white.
Nettina is charged with making “interstate communications with a threat to injure,” according to a DOJ press release. If convicted, he could be sentenced to up to five years in prison.
The complaint was filed in U.S. District Court in Maryland. The FBI’s Baltimore Field Office investigated the case, and Assistant U.S. Attorney Paul E. Budlow for the District of Maryland and Deputy Chief Bobbi Bernstein of the DOJ’s Civil Rights Division’s Criminal Section are prosecuting it.
HRC spokesperson Elizabeth Bibi put the threat in context of other attacks on LGBTQ+ Americans. “The LGBTQ+ community is under attack in statehouses across the country and on social media platforms,” she told The Advocate via email. “This violent, hateful rhetoric leads to stigma, and stigma leads to physical violence. As we see radical politicians sow hate and fear with anti-LGBTQ+ rhetoric, we have seen the physical threats to our community multiply — from armed men at Pride parades, to threats of violence against local drag shows at libraries, to bomb threats at children’s hospitals, to the continued rise in fatal violence against members of our community, especially Black transgender women.
“Late last month, HRC received two threatening voicemails. These threats were referred to law enforcement, who have since confirmed that they have made an arrest. We are grateful to law enforcement for acting so quickly to keep our community safe, and we condemn any and all violent words or deeds. We will continue our work to call out those who spread violence, fear, and disinformation.”