Man charged in alleged threats, hate crimes against Seattle mayor, Sawant

SEATTLE -- A Seattle man faces several hate-crime related charges after he allegedly posted several threatening messages online against Mayor Ed Murray and Councilmember Kshama Sawant.

The Seattle Times reports King County prosecutors charged Seattle resident Mitchell Munro Taylor, 32, with malicious harassment, felony harassment and two counts of cyberstalking.

According to charging documents, Taylor published several allegedly threatening posts to Facebook. Some of these posts included homophobic slurs based on Murray's sexual orientation, which qualifies as a hate crime. Another post said “death to socialist council member,” which authorities believe was targeted toward Councilmember Sawant, who is a socialist.

The Times reports Murray's staff brought the Facebook posts to the mayor's attention on Jan. 14 and Taylor was arrested Jan. 16.

Taylor is being held in King County Jail on $600,000 bail.