Threats against public officials are ticking up, a disturbing trend that NCITE researchers are charting in a 10-year examination of federally investigated threats. Since 2013, researchers have counted 501 such threats, most resulting in conviction. Threats were most commonly made against members of the criminal justice system, from law enforcement officers to judges. Elected officials and those who run or manage elections comprised the second most-targeted category. Educators and healthcare workers also received threats. The following graphics show further analysis. It is important to note that the figures capture only federally charged cases. There is a high bar for such charges given Constitutional protections for political speech. Most threats, however, are not reported, and this analysis does not include threats that were reported to local authorities. The figures below nevertheless indicate a greater willingness nationally to threaten public officials. The research team is examining the extent to which that reflects a growing public acceptance of and tolerance for political violence — attitudes that threaten U.S. institutions and weaken democracy.
Simi, Peter and Hughes, Seamus, "Understanding Threats to Public Officials" (2023). Reports, Projects, and Research. 45.