An employee of a government-funded laboratory in Colorado publicly advocated a “murderous rampage” against reporters at a local news organization, who, she said, “deserve to die.”
The threats appeared on the public Twitter profile of Kerri Crosby, an employee of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden, CO. The profile has since been made private.
The NREL “is a national laboratory of the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, operated by the Alliance for Sustainable Energy, LLC,” according to its website. NREL receieves funding from DOE, and its website uses a .gov domain.
Reporters at Colorado Watchdog, a state division of the non-profit journalism organization the Franklin Center (with which Heritage co-hosts on annual conference on journalism), reported on NREL’s compensation for top employees in November.
Crosby responded directly to the piece on Twitter, saying, “Have you ever felt like going on a murderous rampage? Start at [Colorado Watchdog's] offices.”
In an ensuing exchange with Colorado Watchdog’s official Twitter account, Crosby said the group’s reporters “deserve to die” and exclaimed, “I DO [advocate mass murder], especially since you are next door! I can’t remember where I left my gun, though. Found it!”
An NREL spokesperson confirmed to Colorado Watchdog that Crosby “is employed at NREL in a non-supervisory staff position” and insisted, “her opinions do not represent those of the Laboratory.”
While the spokesperson said “appropriate action has been taken” in response to Crosby’s threats, he would not specify what those actions were.
“We take threats of this nature very seriously and our staff’s safety is of the utmost importance,” Franklin Center president Jason Stverak told Scribe. “However, no threat will ever stop us from doing our job as journalists and asking the tough questions to keep politicians and government officials accountable.”
Attempts to reach Crosby for comment were not successful.