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State legislator says gun threat over unemployment ‘changed how he lives.’

Man upset with unemployment benefit issues threatened Rep. Phil Green
State Representative Phil Green
State Representative Phil Green(WJRT)
Published: Oct. 14, 2020 at 6:02 PM EDT
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TUSCOLA COUNTY, Mich. (WJRT) - Unemployment has been a sensitive issue for people around the state since the start of the pandemic.

Workers have been dealing with sign-up snafus and months-long waits for a check after their benefits were approved. State Rep. Phil Green of Tuscola County said he recently was the target of a gun threat because of those problems.

There have been no arrests, but Green said the threat has changed the way he lives in this political climate during the coronavirus pandemic.

“People are desperate, they are still desperate. They don’t know where to turn and they can’t get answers,” he said.

Green personally felt that desperation from a man in Tuscola County, who was out of work because of the pandemic and was having trouble getting unemployment benefits in late May. He contacted Green, a Republican.

“He threatened to come to my house and bring firearms,” he said.

The Tuscola County Sheriff’s Office interviewed the man who made the threat, but he was not arrested. Green said his neighborhood has been getting a little more attention from law enforcement in recent months.

“They have been a little more visible in the area, so they are doing everything possible and monitoring social media chat,” he said.

Even with a more secure feeling from police, he is in the process of getting better protection for his family and his home.

“It kicked us into a mode that we have to upgrade security, we need to make sure we have a plan,” Green said.

He has empathy for what Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and her family has gone through this summer, as law enforcement became aware of an alleged plot to kidnap her and to overtake the state government. Green said any threat of harm in these times has to be taken seriously.

“Absolutely, 100% it has changed how I live my day to day life," he said.

Green eventually found out the man who made that threat was able to get his unemployment benefits.

Copyright 2020 WJRT. All rights reserved.

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