Miami Francis Suarez and Commissioner Ken RussellEXPAND
Miami Francis Suarez and Commissioner Ken Russell
City of Miami

UPDATE: Miami Police Investigating Threat Against Mayor Francis Suarez and Commissioner Ken Russell

Update, 5/30: William James Whelan, the ex-boyfriend of one of Russell's staffers, was arrested by Miami police May 24 on a felony charge of aggravated stalking. According to a warrant issued by the State Attorney's Office, Whelan sent Russell hundreds of unwanted text messages, including one in which Whelan stated, "Now is when the professional killers come in." Russell's staffer told investigators Whelan has psychotic episodes and has not been receiving treatment. Russell declined to comment on the arrest.

Threats against public officials are, unfortunately, common in South Florida. But it's rare they require an ongoing police presence. Yet earlier this week, local political blogger Al Crespo verified anonymous tips that Miami Police officers have been stationed in front of the homes of Mayor Francis Suarez and Commissioner Ken Russell.

A police spokesperson confirmed to New Times Thursday there is an open department investigation. Det. Kenia Fallat said the department had "added police presence" related to a case "involving open city matters." She declined to comment further.

Spokespeople for Suarez and Russell had no comment and referred all questions to the Miami Police Department.

According to Crespo, the threats were made by a civilian. At one point earlier this week, as many as seven police cars were spotted outside Russell's home.

Crespo also photographed armed officers outside city hall during today's commission meeting, though it's unclear if the two police details are related. (Update, 4:50 p.m.: Miami Herald reporter Joey Flechas says the armed police have been at city hall since at least March.)

No further information about the investigation was available. This post will be updated as more details become available.

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