Shuffling through a large pile of mail mistakenly sent to him at his mother's address, Newark Mayor Ras Baraka made a what might be considered a chilling discovery New Year's weekend: threats allegedly directed at him and city facilities.
The mayor spoke about finding the two letters, which he said were hand-delivered to his mother's Newark home where he used to live, during a City Hall news conference called to address separate public safety issues.
Baraka said he was not concerned about threats against himself but the fact they were sent to his family.
"I think the other stuff is part of the job, but people who would go to your mother's house and drop something in her mailbox, that says something that is a bit much for me, right?" Baraka said. "As a human being, let alone a mayor."
Newark police are investigating the potential source of the threats, but Baraka said police had told him not to give up details.
The purpose of the news conference was to address further changes to the newly formed city Department of Public Safety. On Dec. 21, Baraka dismissed his police and fire directors, replacing them with one director of public safety: former Police Director Anthony Ambrose.
During the news conference, Baraka named the next police chief, who will take over when current Chief Anthony Campos retires sometime this spring or summer. Baraka also announced he would make the head of the police department's Internal Affairs bureau a civilian who has experience as a lawyer. Candidates are being sought, the mayor said.