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A 59-year-old man is facing a criminal threat charge over "threatening statements directed toward city of Wichita Mayor Brandon Whipple" in Kansas, per a police statement.

Details: Meredith Dowty was arrested Friday. Threats sent to someone who knows the suspect and Whipple showed anger about a city coronavirus mask mandate, the mayor said to CNN.

  • "He said he was going to kidnap me and slash my throat and he needed my address because I needed to see the hangman," Whipple told the Wichita Eagle.

Of note: The arrest follows alleged plots to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) and Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (D) over their responses to the pandemic.

Go deeper

The cities that are already defunding the police

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

"Defund the police" became a rallying cry for many people on the left almost overnight — but it's also having a real impact as cities move quickly to slash their police department budgets.

Driving the news: In the aftermath of the protests over the killing of George Floyd, city leaders are calling to cut law enforcement budgets or reallocate funds in at least 19 U.S. cities, according to Local Progress, which pushes for racial and economic justice and is tracking the issue in real-time.

Updated Oct 1, 2020 - Politics & Policy

The major police reforms enacted since George Floyd's death

Federal officers in Portland, Oregon on July 21. Photo: Nathan Howard/Getty Images

Nationwide Black Lives Matter protests sparked by George Floyd's killing have put new pressure on states and cities to scale back the force that officers can use on civilians.

Why it matters: Police reforms of this scale have not taken place since the inception of the Black Lives Matter movement in 2013, following George Zimmerman's acquittal for shooting Trayvon Martin, an unarmed Black teenager.

Republicans pledge to set aside differences and work with Biden

President Biden speaks to Sen. Mitch McConnell after being sworn in at the West Front of the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday. Photo: Erin Schaff-Pool/Getty Images

Several Republicans praised President Biden's calls for unity during his inaugural address on Wednesday and pledged to work together for the benefit of the American people.

Why it matters: The Democrats only have a slim majority in the Senate and Biden will likely need to work with the GOP to pass his legislative agenda.