Dodge City police determine messages to former mayor weren’t direct threats

Kansas

DODGE CITY, Kan. (KSNW) – The Dodge City Police Department completed an investigation into the alleged threats over a mask mandate received by former Mayor Joyce Warshaw.

The investigation determined that the emails were sent by an out of state resident in response to an article he had read in an expression of displeasure because the city did not adopt a mask protocol sooner.

The investigation of findings, which was reviewed by two prosecutors, showed that the messages received by Warshaw did not meet the elements required by Kansas Criminal Statutes regarding threats.

“Criminal statutes set forth requirements that must be met to establish if the words and context directed towards another constitutes a violation of the law,” said Dodge City Police Chief Drew Francis. “In this case, those elements were not met in the emails received by the former mayor, and further contact with the sender determined his words and actions fall under first amendment freedom of speech and the right to petition the government.”

Warshaw was informed of the findings by the investigating officer.

“I would personally like to thank the Dodge City Police Department for their investigation into some of the emails I received,” said former Mayor Warshaw. “Detective Sergeant Thompson stayed in touch with me, and his findings put my mind at ease that all was well, and the messages were not as threatening as I initially felt.”

Dodge City Attorney Brad Ralph said that he is relieved to determine that the communications did not come from a Dodge City resident or even a person within the state. He also added that elected officials are trying their best to get through some very difficult situations with the best interests of constituents at the forefront.

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