FBI warning about threat to Honolulu’s mayor prompted additional officers at city hall
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - A witness against suspected crime boss Mike Miske was indicted by a federal grand jury Thursday for allegedly making social media threats to a DLNR official and his family.
But while investigating that case, sources tell Hawaii News Now, the FBI notified Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi and Lt. Gov. Josh Green that they were also subjects on online threats by Lindsey Kinney.
Neither Blangiardi nor Green would comment on the case.
But the mayor’s office confirmed a meeting with FBI agents and Honolulu police officers on April 1.
Two plainclothes HPD officers were then added to the reception area of the mayor’s office at Honolulu Hale from April 4 through April 11, “out of concern for the safety of staff members and those visiting Mayor Blangiardi’s office,” a spokesman said.
Kinney is charged with interstate transmission of a threat.
The FBI specifically cited Instagram posts in the charging documents in which Kinney allegedly says he would behead them.
Legal experts say there is a point when free speech can be considered a crime.
“If you’re threatening someone,” said Megan Kau, a defense attorney, adding that various factors come into play. “If it’s possible to happen right away and you make a threat, then that’s criminal.”
Kinney has been held without bond after his initial arrest two weeks ago.
His attorney declined to comment, but said Kinney plans to plead not guilty.
Kinney is considered a key witness in the federal case against Miske. The new allegations against Kinney could affect his credibility on the stand.
A search of the Office of Elections show Kinney pulled papers to run for governor last month, but he did not file those papers before being arrested.
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