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Florida nurse charged for death threats against Vice President Kamala Harris

USA TODAY logo USA TODAY 4/17/2021 Sarah Elbeshbishi, USA TODAY
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A Florida woman is being held by federal authorities for allegedly making a series of threats to kill Vice President Kamala Harris.

Niviane Petit Phelps, 39, sent a series of videos to her husband in prison, expressing anger over the results of the 2020 election, according to a Secret Service complaint. Phelps also went as far as practicing at a gun range and applied for a concealed weapons permit, according to authorities.

Kamala Harris wearing a suit and tie: President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris on March 12, 2021, in the Rose Garden of the White House. © Alex Brandon/AP President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris on March 12, 2021, in the Rose Garden of the White House.

Also fueling Phelps’ threats was her belief that Harris “isn’t actually Black,” according to the Secret Service complaint. Harris is Black and of South Asian descent.

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According to the criminal complaint filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida, Phelps “knowingly and willfully made threats to kill and inflict bodily harm upon the Vice President of the United States in violation of Title 18, United States Code Section 871.”

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A nurse at Jackson Memorial Hospital, Phelps was detained Thursday by a Miami federal magistrate judge after she was charged with making threats against Harris.

According to the complaint, Phelps threatened Harris in five videos and two photos from February in which she states that Harris will die, she will kill her and suggests a specific day.

Phelps is being held at the Federal Detention Center in Miami and if convicted, Phelps would face up to five years in prison. The judge who detained Phelps did so because they found her to be a “danger to the community,” according to the Miami Herald.

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“Based upon my limited knowledge, I do not think my client was a genuine threat to the vice president. All this case involved was my client venting to her incarcerated husband (where the communications were recorded and then forwarded to law enforcement),” Phelps’ attorney Scott Saul told the Herald in a statement.

Phelps was suspended from her job without pay from Jackson Health System, where she's worked for 20 years. A Jackson Health System spokesperson said that Phelps would be terminated.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Florida nurse charged for death threats against Vice President Kamala Harris

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