What does it take to get the FBI or local law enforcement to arrest someone?Â How about a death threat?Â If you thought that threatening a person’s lifeÂ would result inÂ yourÂ going toÂ jail, you wouldÂ have been mistaken.Â Â Outside of threatening the life of the President of the United States (and sometimes even then), death threats might onlyÂ result in an individual being scrutinized by various law enforcement agencies.Â Erin Andrews, the ESPN reporter now engaged as a contestant on “Dancing With The Stars,” is in the process of learning this sad fact at present.Â A man inÂ NewportÂ News, Virginia, has been sendingÂ Erin AndrewsÂ death threats viaÂ “The Dan Patrick Show” since March but the FBI are, according to TMZ, reluctant to arrest him because,Â thus far, he hasn’t done anything but express himself in a threatening manner.Â
In short, law enforcement will not arrest the manÂ sendingÂ death threats to Erin Andrews because they don’t wantÂ to infringe on his First Amendment right to free speech.Â
So what’s a contestant on “Dancing With The Stars” to do?Â Soldier on, of course.Â Erin Andrews said she would not quit “Dancing With The Stars” over the death threats.Â ABC and “Dancing WithÂ The Stars” have hired extra security not only for Erin Andrews but for the studio where the popular show is filmed.Â
But how serious are the death threats?Â Â One of them noted that he wanted “somone to shoot her in the face.”Â But another, received on March 29, stated: “I would like to see if Erin Andrews can dance her way through a hail of gunfire. Better yet I would love to shoot her with a Barrett rifle. Get the pun — her stalker was mr. Barrett and the barrett rifle is an ultra expensive 50 cl. rifle with a range over a mile.”
Specific.Â Calculated.Â Detailed.Â The sender even threw in a sick pun, designed no doubt to instillÂ even more anxiety and fear.Â Erin Andrews had seen the producer ofÂ an illegally obtained peephole video (of her), Michael Barrett, the controversy over which she had endured for weeks in July and August, sentenced to 30 months in prison on March 15.Â Now she was receiving death threats.
And, apparently, there was little to nothing she could do about it.
Unfortunately, laws are very reactive, dealing with criminal activity after the fact.Â Short of a restraining order, trying to get a harassment charge to stick, or having her security maintain surveillance on the sender, Erin Andrews has to wait until the sender actually commits a crime.Â
Of course, with a Barrett rifle, a weapon with a range of over a mile, the sender could actualize his threat and perhaps purposely collect some collateral damage as well before anyone could get to him or stop him.Â
Erin Andrews and her representatives were outraged to find that they were informed about the e-mailsÂ on April 1 — and “The Dan Patrick Show” had been receiving them for days.Â The e-mails containing the death threats began in March, but the sender had been transmittingÂ e-mails of a sexual nature (also concerning Erin Andrews) sinceÂ September.Â Â Â
And as long as his e-mails remain the extent of his activity toward Erin Andrews, it looks as if he will be allowed to continue.