TROY — Town hall will be open by appointment only until further notice after officials received threats from people upset about Police Chief David Ellis’ presence at last Wednesday’s rally in Washington, D.C.
Richard H. “Dick” Thackston III, chairman of the Troy selectboard, said Sunday that town officials have received numerous expletive-laden emails and voicemails, some containing threats of “general violence,” though no specific threats.
“Because of the concern, as an open building — which is what we like to have — and because of the irrational nature of some of these communications, we just felt it was better at this time” to make town hall appointment-only, Thackston said. He added that the Troy Police Department has been made aware of the threats.
Ellis, who has been the town’s police chief since 2013, attended President Donald Trump’s “Save America” rally in Washington last Wednesday, though he has denounced the violence that took place at the U.S. Capitol following the event. He told NHPR on Thursday that he left the rally before Trump supporters began rioting and storming the Capitol. The violence caused the deaths of five people, including a Capitol Police officer.
U.S. Capitol Police on Sunday announced the death of a second Capitol Police officer, according to The Washington Post. Two law enforcement officials told The Washington Post that off-duty officer Howard Liebengood, 51, died by suicide over the weekend, days after being on the scene of Wednesday’s violent siege of the Capitol building. It’s not clear whether Liebengood’s death is related to the storming of the Capitol, according to the Associated Press.
Since Wednesday, Thackston said several dozen people, most from outside of Troy, have contacted the selectboard demanding Ellis be fired (the police chief is a position appointed by the selectmen). Thackston said Sunday that he does not anticipate the board will take any action against Ellis.Jack Rooney can be reached at 352-1234, extension 1404, or email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @RooneyReports.