Contact Me By Email

What To Do When You're Stopped By Police - The ACLU & Elon James White

What To Do When You're Stopped By Police - The ACLU & Elon James White

Know Anyone Who Thinks Racial Profiling Is Exaggerated? Watch This, And Tell Me When Your Jaw Drops.

This video clearly demonstrates how racist America is as a country and how far we have to go to become a country that is civilized and actually values equal justice. We must not rest until this goal is achieved. I do not want my great grandchildren to live in a country like we have today. I wish for them to live in a country where differences of race and culture are not ignored but valued as a part of what makes America great.

Saturday, April 27, 2024

He threatened Marjorie Taylor Greene. Then came the consequences. - Washington Post

He threatened Marjorie Taylor Greene amid a mental health crisis. Then came the consequences.

Joe Morelli at his home with his cat Ignatius, in Endicott, N.Y. (Celia Talbot Tobin for The Washington Post)

"ENDICOTT, N.Y. — The night he made the threat, Joe Morelli was exactly where he is now two years later, on his couch.

The couch is blue and beginning to sag. It sits in the living room of his small apartment in south-central New York. Since Morelli, 52, also sleeps on the couch every night, he keeps a piece of plywood beneath the cushions, because the softness of the cushions makes his back hurt. At the foot of the couch, he stores a few stacks of old family photos, including several of his two children, and he looks at the photos sometimes when he is feeling lonely, which is not all the time, but does happen, because he lives alone and has not spoken to his children in more than 20 years. When he wakes up on the couch each morning, he walks to the kitchen to make a pot of coffee and then returns to the couch, where most everything else that he needs is on the table in front of him. His pills, which he uses to treat his bipolar disorder. His gum, his glasses, his phone, and his remote, which he picks up now to turn on the television and watch the news, which is what he had been doing the night he got so angry that he made the threat.

He opens YouTube on his smart TV. His usual channels appear on the screen, most of them left-leaning talk shows.

Morelli’s life since the threat has come with conditions, mandated by a judge, including mental health treatment with a therapist who has asked him to write a list of “behaviors to decrease.” One is watching too much political news. Another is “Acting without taking a breath.” “Imagine that you are a small flake of stone,” the therapist has told him. “Imagine that you have been tossed out onto the lake and are now gently, slowly, floating through the calm, clear blue water ...”

He scrolls past a clip about a shooting in Kansas City. It began, he learns, when one group of strangers noticed another group of strangers looking at them funny and took it as a threat.

“How ridiculous,” Morelli says.

He sits upright. His two cats, Ignatius and Scooter, move in and out of the living room. “There you are, buddy,” he says to Ignatius. “Hiya. You got sick of being alone?”

He goes to the kitchen for another cup of coffee, sits back down and scrolls through more clips. He clicks on one about demonstrators with Nazi flags in downtown Nashville. He clicks on another.

In all the clips he watches, threatening behavior appears on the screen.

There are threats every day now and no way to count them all. People make threats online, under screen names, anonymously, publicly. They threaten friends, acquaintances, strangers, and they especially threaten the politicians they see on TV. At the federal, state and local level, threats against elected officials have risen to record highs. In 2023, there were 8,008 recorded cases of threats against members of Congress, according to the U.S. Capitol Police. In 2022, there were 7,501 cases, and Morelli’s threat was one of them.

When he made his threat, it was by phone, and he spelled his name for whoever might be listening on the other end. “J-O-E. M-O-R-E-L-L-I,” he’d said from the couch.

The threat had led to an FBI investigation, an arrest, a courtroom, a federal prison, and now back to the apartment in Endicott, where Morelli has promised himself that he will not act without first taking a breath. He takes another sip of coffee. He pictures himself as the stone in the lake. He holds the remote and queues up the next video.


That’s how the threat had begun two years before — in between video clips.

It was March 3, 2022, 8:30 p.m., when a campaign ad came on the screen showing Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) lying on her stomach, her finger wrapped around the trigger of a .50-caliber sniper rifle. “I’m going to blow away the Democrats’ socialist agenda,” she said into the camera. She peered into the viewfinder at a Toyota Prius in an open field. On the side of the Prius, in large type, was the word “SOCIALISM.” Greene fired, and the gun kicked back against her body. In the next shot, the car exploded, disappearing into orange flames.

When the ad was over, Morelli had an idea. He was, at the time, in a mixed state of mania and depression. The depression meant that he had been shrinking away from the world, ignoring texts even from his sister, who lived nearby and knew all about bipolar disorder, because she was a psychiatric nurse who treated bipolar patients all the time. The mania meant that, alone in the apartment, Morelli felt his mind racing. “Speeding” is what he called it.

Morelli's refrigerator is covered with photos and memorabilia, including an illustration about bipolar disorder. (Celia Talbot Tobin for The Washington Post)
Morelli cooks sweet-and-sour soup in his kitchen. (Celia Talbot Tobin for The Washington Post)

When he was manic, he was clear and focused. He felt untouchable, like he could jump from a building and land on his feet, and that’s how he was feeling now as he walked to his computer and Googled the phone number for Greene’s office on Capitol Hill.

He dialed the number and, when no one answered, waited to leave a voice mail. It was 8:32 p.m.

“Hi,” he said, “My name is Joseph Morelli.” He spelled his name. He gave his phone number. He said, “Um, you should call the FBI field office in Binghamton, New York, and ask them how I deal with people who push hatred, influence hatred and talk about how cool it is to own guns.

“Tell them my name, tell them I called you, and tell them that I told you that I don’t like you — and I would watch yourself with your f---ing hatred.”

His voice was calm.

“Bye,” he said.

Five minutes later, at 8:37 p.m., he dialed the number a second time.

“Hey, Joe Morelli again.

“You spread hatred, and you’re gonna pay for it, b----.” Same calm tone. He kept talking. “Man, you better hope that I keep taking my medication.”

He laughed. “Keep blowing up Priuses.”

A few things Morelli hated about that ad: He had especially disliked Greene ever since he saw a video of her heckling a survivor of the Parkland, Fla., school shooting, outside the Capitol in 2019. He also hated guns, like the one she had pointed at the word “SOCIALISM.” Then there were times when Morelli hated himself, and his connection to that word, because he relied on disability benefits, which he considered to be a form of socialism, one he believed in, but one that had been a source of some shame, too.

Another thing Morelli knew about himself: “I can be vicious with my words.” But nothing he’d ever said or done had amounted to a felony until that night on the couch, when, at 11:11 p.m., he picked up the phone and called Greene again.

“I really think I’m gonna have to cause you harm — physical harm,” he said. “If you keep up with this hatred, and people get hurt, I’m gonna hurt you.”

That was the first of the calls that resulted in federal charges. The law he was accused of breaking was Title 18 of the U.S. Code, which was the criminal code of the federal government, Section 875(c), which prohibited making a threat to injure across state lines, which was exactly what prosecutors said Morelli had done from the couch in Endicott, talking to Greene’s voice mail in Washington.

“You promote violence,” he said, calling again at 11:18 p.m. “I’m gonna have to show you, to your face, right up front, what violence truly is.”

He told Greene that even if he was in prison, he could pay two guys in Buffalo, where he had grown up, to “take a baseball bat and crack your skull.” It would cost him $500, he said. He hung up.

11:24 p.m. He picked up the phone again.

“You’re just causing hatred. You’re gonna cause people to get hurt, so I’m gonna have to hurt you physically. And again, Joe Morelli. M-O-R-E-L-L-I.”

12:01 a.m. Another call. “Hey, Joe Morelli again.”

1:10 a.m. Another call. “Yeah, I— I’ve just come to a decision. I can’t have you out there inciting violence. You know, I’m gonna have to stop you, just as simple as that.”

Then it was over. Seven voice mails in all. He fell asleep on the couch.


When he woke up the next morning, he tried to remember what he had done. He knew he had given his name, his phone number, the name of his town and had encouraged Greene to call the FBI. He thought that if FBI agents were going to show up, it would be right away, but no one came. “Oh, well,” he thought. If he hadn’t been manic, he might have been more worried, though it wasn’t until later that he realized just how manic he had been.

Eight days earlier, he had received electroconvulsive therapy, or ECT, to help pull him out of his depression. He had been dealing with depression since he was a boy, though he felt it didn’t define him. He was funny and curious. He took college courses when he could afford it and played the guitar. He respected and loved his sister, and he loved her two kids, always trying to make them laugh. But sometimes his depression was severe. He’d been in therapy for years and gotten shock treatments once before, when he had been so depressed he became catatonic, standing in his kitchen, staring into space. That was in 2010, and he believed ECT had saved his life. This time, the reaction had been different.

In the hospital, before the anesthesia took effect, he began grasping for his neck. He would remember later feeling like he couldn’t breathe. He woke up in the recovery room afraid. He told his sister he didn’t want to do ECT anymore. “Something happened,” he texted her later. “Everything was fine and then I couldn’t catch my breath and the next day all I could smell was that room and I don’t like that smell.”

“It sounds like a panic attack,” his sister wrote back, and Morelli said that was probably it.

Now it was March 4, 2022, and one of Greene’s aides, Travis Loudermilk, heard the voice mails and forwarded them to the U.S. Capitol Police, as he did with all the threats his boss received. The Capitol Police ran a search on the phone number associated with the calls, and what came back was a description for Joseph F. Morelli, White, bald, green eyes, 69 inches tall.

On March 9, Morelli got a text from his sister about a movie she wanted to watch, but he did not respond. He hadn’t told her about the voice mails. By then, the FBI had taken the case.

On March 10, his sister texted again: “How are you feeling?”

On March 11, another text: “How are you feeling?”

“Send me a text when you get this so I know you’re ok,” she wrote. “I worry!”

The next day passed, and the next day, and Morelli still hadn’t returned her texts. “How was yesterday?” she wrote on March 13. On March 15, a special agent at the FBI’s Albany division requested an arrest warrant from a judge, and the next morning, at dawn, Morelli woke up to a bang outside his door.

He thought his oven had exploded. He opened the front door and saw FBI agents and at least one armed law enforcement officer. He looked down and saw a red laser point on his chest. Outside the front of the house, two police cars blocked off each side of the street. He was cuffed, put in a car and taken to an interrogation room, where a video camera began to record the conversation.

Morelli is interviewed by the FBI in March 2022 in Binghamton, N.Y., after he made threatening calls to Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga). (Office of the Federal Public Defender for the Northern District of New York)

Across the table, two FBI agents told him he was being charged with making threats against Marjorie Taylor Greene. Morelli laughed. “What did I say?”

“Well, it’s funny you should ask,” the first agent said.

They began to play the voice mails.

I can’t have you out there, inciting violence …

Morelli shrugged.

“Is that you?” the agent asked.

Hey, it’s Joe Morelli again …

“Where’s the threat?” he said.

“Keep listening,” the agent said.

I can’t allow you to live anymore …

“Sound like threats yet?” the agent asked. Morelli shrugged again.

“Do you know her? Marjorie?” the second FBI agent asked.

Morelli said no, he didn’t know Marjorie Taylor Greene.

“You didn’t actually have any plans to harm her?” one of the agents asked.

Morelli said no, he didn’t.

“Or any other politician?” the other agent asked.

No, he said. “I’ve never owned a gun. I’ve never owned a weapon. I’m not going to freakin’ D.C. and crap. I barely leave my house.”

The first FBI agent said he understood Morelli’s feelings about politics. No one in that room liked politicians, he told Morelli. “But you know what I tell myself?” the agent said. “These people, the end of the day, they go to bed and they’re not thinking about me. They’re not thinking about you. But you took it to another level, and now you’re in trouble, because you thought about this person who never thinks about you ever. It just makes me scratch my head, because you seem like a normal guy.”

“I was getting sick of these bullies,” Morelli said. “They just — they’re probably responsible for a lot of people dying.”

“I understand,” the agent said. “You’re mad at them, because you think that they’re spreading propaganda and hate and harming people.”

“Yeah, I do,” Morelli said.

“What did you just do? What’s the difference?” the agent asked.

“Uh,” Morelli said.

“You’re stooping to their level.”

“I made her feel the way she makes everybody else feel when she does that crap,” Morelli said. “Let her be harassed.”

“Why get yourself involved in this crap?”

“Because I’m tired of people like her doing the same thing, like let her—”

“But then you went out and did the same thing.”

Morelli started to respond. He tipped his head back and looked at the ceiling. He crossed his arms. He laughed. He shook his head. He shrugged again.

“Right?” the agent asked. “Do you understand?”


Back on the couch, Morelli turns off the news. He is alone.

Most days, he doesn’t mind being alone, with his cats and his other pets, four mice that live in a tank beneath the television. He figures he has spent about half his life living alone. When he was 18, he left home in Buffalo to live alone in Florida. Then he came back to Buffalo, where he worked for General Motors, married, had two kids and lived in a house with a garage big enough for three cars. When the marriage fell apart after four years, he was alone again. He tried Missouri for a while, then Indiana, then San Diego. He spent years working as a driver — pizza delivery, taxi cabs, cargo vans — and that was more time alone. In 2010, after his first round of electroshock treatments, he moved to the Endicott apartment, when it still belonged to his mother. They lived there together until she died in 2019, and now the apartment was his.

One thing he has learned about living alone is that there is no one to tell him when he is starting to “spiral down,” as he puts it. He sometimes visits a friend nearby, or one of his neighbors, and at least once a week, he sees his sister, who is always good at asking him, “Are you sleeping? Are you eating?”

When there is no one around, Morelli sometimes asks his own questions: “Why am I here? Why am I stuck here? Why did you have to die, Mom? Why did you leave me here alone?”

When he is depressed, he’s come to understand, anger is usually not far behind. It’s not always anger at other people, but at the world, or at himself.

Scooter, one of Morelli’s two cats, sits alongside him in his living room. (Celia Talbot Tobin for The Washington Post)

He walks to his computer and opens a slide show he made from some of the photos he keeps at the foot of his couch. The pictures, all of his kids, move chronologically. His first son appears on the screen as a baby. As the photos go by, his son begins to crawl, uses a stroller, decorates a Christmas tree, blows out three candles on a birthday cake. Another baby, his second son, appears on the screen.

“They were sweet kids,” he says. “I love them.”

In the last shot, Morelli and his sons are in a room with white walls and a conference table. Morelli kneels on the ground with his arms around the kids. They’ve just unwrapped presents: a red toy train and a yellow toy plow. Morelli is smiling. The picture was taken at a family center in Buffalo. The visit was supervised, a condition of what had become an ugly divorce, and that was the last time he saw them. The slide show stops there, the children aged 7 and 4.

“I’ve reached out to the kids as best I can,” Morelli found himself telling the FBI agents in the interrogation room two years earlier, “and said, ‘Look, I’m here,’ you know?”

“Are they doing well?” one of the agents asked him.

“From what I hear, they’re good kids,” he said.


Soon after the interrogation, Morelli met his lawyer, a public defender named Gabrielle DiBella.

When they listened to the voice mails together, Morelli told her he was surprised by how cold and level his voice sounded. He could understand, he said, how law enforcement, and probably also Greene herself, might hear that voice and imagine a man who was serious about acting on his threat. But that wasn’t the point, DiBella told him, as she would later recount. It didn’t matter what kind of man he had sounded like. The case against him was more straightforward than that. He had made a threat. He was on tape. He had admitted to it during FBI questioning.

His best defense, DiBella told him, would be to make the case about Greene. About the way Greene spoke. “Zealous,” “upsetting” and “threatening” is how she would describe Greene’s political rhetoric. Greene, DiBella said she could argue, used language designed to provoke a reaction, and a reaction was exactly what Morelli had been primed to give the night he saw the Prius ad, all in the midst of a mental health crisis.

He spent a few nights in jail and was released on house arrest. According to the schedule approved by his probation officer, he was allowed to leave his apartment for mental health treatments, attorney visits and court appearances. At 12 p.m., Monday through Saturday, he could walk outside to check his mail. At 7 p.m. on Mondays, he could take out the trash. On Tuesdays, he could go to the grocery store.

Morelli drives to a group therapy session. (Celia Talbot Tobin for The Washington Post)

As the months went by, and periods of depression came and went, he thought about what a trial would be like. In January 2023, he met with DiBella to make a final decision. She told him the jurors might lean politically conservative, and that, if he testified, a prosecutor would try to provoke him into losing his temper.

He decided to change his plea, and on Feb. 1, in a courtroom in Syracuse, he told a judge that he was guilty.

“So the phone calls that you made were a true threat to injure her?” the judge asked.

“They were a true threat, but I had no plan to actually do so,” Morelli said.

“And did you know that they would be viewed as threats?”

“Yes, I did.”

He left the courthouse and returned to Endicott to wait for his sentencing hearing, still on house arrest. He watched YouTube videos about what to expect in prison. His family and friends wrote letters to the judge, asking for leniency.

“I plead with you to show compassion in allowing Joe to remain at home,” his sister told the judge.

“I trust Joe implicitly, so much so that he has a key to my apartment,” his neighbor told the judge.

“Joe is a pleasure to work with; he is engaged and participatory in his sessions,” his psychiatrist and therapist told the judge.

Then came another letter, this one a surprise.

It was from the U.S. attorney’s office — a request for restitution on Greene’s behalf.

At home in Georgia, the congresswoman had upgraded her security cameras and built a new fence, all as a result of Morelli’s threat, the prosecutor said, and Greene was asking Morelli to pay for it. They were expenses she would not have incurred “but for the defendant’s conduct,” the prosecutor said in a letter to the judge. The camera upgrades cost $1,375. The fence cost $65,257.49.

$66,632.49 total.

Along with the restitution request came a victim impact statement, signed by Greene.

“How have you/your company/your family been affected overall by this crime?” the form asked.

“Scared my whole family” was Greene’s response.

“Have you experienced any of the following reactions to the crime?” the form asked.

Below was a menu of options, including grief, guilt, sleep loss, nightmares, depression, trouble concentrating.

Greene left check marks next to four categories.

Unsafe. Anxiety. Fear. Anger.


“Yes, it made me angry,” Greene said.

She was in her Capitol Hill office on a recent afternoon, talking about the threat.

If anyone in Washington had an understanding of threats, Greene said, she would be that person. She guessed that she received the most threats of any member of Congress, though the Capitol Police didn’t release data like that, even to lawmakers. Morelli’s threat had come at a chaotic time for Greene. She had been banned from Twitter for violating its covid misinformation policies. There was a lawsuit seeking to remove her from the ballot in Georgia. She remembered billboards and ads, paid for by people casting her as “the most horrible person in Washington,” she said. “I’m the most horrible person in Congress. I’m the most horrible person in the world, perhaps.” Now she was used to it when people came up to her in airports or in restaurants, calling her a whore, a racist, a Nazi. The worst was when someone came up to her, smiling, asking to take a selfie. They’d get close to her face, and then in an instant, the smile would vanish, and they would begin to call her names, “and they’re this close to me,” she said. “If they had wanted to, could they stab me? Yeah.”

So she was vigilant. “And it shouldn’t be that way. I don’t think it should be that way for anybody. I don’t care if I disagree with them politically.”

No one should make threats, she said.

But as Morelli considered going to trial, “threatening” was the word his lawyer had used to describe Greene. In legal filings, DiBella compiled a list of examples. Before she was a member of Congress, DiBella wrote, Greene had “liked” inflammatory social media posts, like one suggesting that “a bullet to the head” would be the quickest way to unseat then-Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.). She had “promoted election fraud conspiracy theories.” She had referred to participants in the insurrection on Jan. 6, 2021, as “political prisoners.” And then there was the ad that started all of this: It was “full of explosions” and “upsetting” and “struck a nerve with Joe, as he feels that his disability benefits are a form of socialism, and that without those he wouldn’t have anything.”

Greene said she was surprised to learn that his anger had begun with the Prius ad. She loved that ad. “It was actually really cool,” she said.

She and her team had searched northwest Georgia for an open field. They purchased an old Prius from a junkyard and removed its battery and its engine until the car was just a shell, in which they placed a large tub of a granular substance that explodes on contact with a high-velocity bullet. With cameras rolling, Greene set up her rifle, took the shot and boom. “It was fun,” she remembered. “I was really excited I made the shot, which should be a warning to anybody that wants to kill me.”

It should have been clear, she said, that when she was blowing up a car labeled with the word “SOCIALISM,” she was blowing up the idea of socialism. The imagery meant, “We don’t want to be a socialist country,” she said, and there were plenty of people who would agree with that. “Should it have triggered him to want to murder me because I said, ‘We don’t want socialism?’”

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) speaks with staff in her office on Capitol Hill. (Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post)
Greene in her office. (Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post)

As the case moved through the court, Greene’s staff kept her updated as Morelli remained on house arrest, pleaded guilty, and six months later, received his sentence: three months in prison.

Seven days after that, at a town hall in August, Greene told a crowd about “a man up in New York” who had threatened her. “He pled guilty. He didn’t even deny it,” she said, adding, “He’s gonna be met with a big wall of bullets if he comes to my house.”

On Oct. 2, Morelli reported to a federal prison in New Jersey. A month later, he was back in court, this time at a hearing to decide who should be responsible for the $66,632.49 security system Greene had installed around her home.

“So, let’s talk about the fence,” DiBella said in the courtroom.

Greene’s aide, Travis Loudermilk, was on the stand.

“You would agree with me that this is a pretty substantial fence?” DiBella said.

“What do you mean?” Loudermilk said.

The fence was five feet tall, according to an invoice from the fencing company. Seven hundred feet of the fence was black residential-grade chain link, mounted with three strands of barbed wire. Another 500 feet featured what the invoice described as “spear tops.”

“Do you see fences like this every day?”

“No,” said Loudermilk.

“It’s a good fence, yeah,” Greene said now in her office.

But she thought the fence had to be good. At least eight times, she had received fake 911 calls alerting the local police to her house — “swatting” incidents. She lived in a partially wooded area. Geographically, it was difficult to secure. And it was the Morelli threat, the prosecutor argued in court, that made her fearful enough to put up the barbed wire and the spear tops.

Greene had not been present at the restitution hearing to see Morelli that day. She had never seen him. Really, she didn’t know much about him.

What she did imagine about Morelli was that he didn’t feel any regret about what he had done. “This is a guy that was not remorseful at all,” she said.

That was why she checked “Angry” on that form. But there were other reasons, too.

It made Greene angry that the judge had allowed Morelli to stay on house arrest until he received his sentence. It made her angry that his sentence was just three months. And it made her angry again when the judge did not agree that Morelli should be forced to pay for her security system. The prosecution had not proved, the judge wrote in her decision, that Morelli’s threat stood apart from all the rest that Greene received. Threats were a frequent part of her life in politics. Greene, the judge pointed out, had said so herself, and that’s where the restitution case ended, even as more threats from other strangers continued to come.

“They never stop,” said Greene.


Morelli was in prison for 81 days.

On one of those days, an inmate pulled him aside and told him there was someone he should meet. It was another prisoner, named Patrick Stedman, who had only just arrived. Stedman was serving four years because he was part of the insurrection on Jan. 6. He had been convicted of obstructing an official proceeding at the U.S. Capitol, where, , he roamed the halls for more than 40 minutes, entered Pelosi’s office, took photos of himself on the Speaker’s Balcony, shouted, “Let us in!” outside the House chamber and later posted on social media, “The storm is here.”

“You should talk to him,” the inmate told Morelli. “Two sides of the same coin.”

Morelli said okay, but as they introduced themselves to one another, here was the embodiment of all the people he’d seen on TV who had made him angry. But Stedman wasn’t on the TV. He was standing across from him, face to face. Morelli expected him to sound the way he imagined all Trump supporters — as a radical, “hating everybody.” And yet, the more they talked, the more Morelli liked him. He didn’t seem hateful at all. He seemed smart. He had a business and a young family at home. He said he planned to spend his time in prison reading and detoxing from the news, and Morelli thought that was a good impulse, to get away from the anger that had surrounded them both.

“I got caught up in the moment,” Morelli remembers Stedman saying, and he understood how that felt.

Several weeks later, just before Christmas, Morelli’s sentence came to an end.

Morelli works on a guitar he painted in his apartment workshop. (Celia Talbot Tobin for The Washington Post)

His sister picked him up, bags of candy in her car. It was a two-hour drive, and then he was back in Endicott, back to the apartment, to his cats, to the TV and the political news he promised to watch less often, and to the place where he is now, on his couch.

It is early evening on a Wednesday.

Wednesday is his night for group therapy. He has an hour to fill before he leaves.

He takes out his group therapy workbook and reviews some of the things he has written so far, on worksheets that ask him to record his actions and thoughts each week.

“My stomach tightened and I was obsessing,” he had written about what he had felt when restoring an old guitar. “I took deep breaths.”

“I breathed in and out mindfully. Pictured myself from the vantage point of the trees,” he had written about observing the tree line across from his apartment. “Imagined flying.”

“I wondered if they felt trapped,” he had written about watching his pet mice.

He flips through the book. One thing he hasn’t written anything about is the threat. After he was released from prison, he was so excited to be home, he felt manic for weeks. But the mania is gone now. No angry outbursts. Not much anger at all. “Ninety-nine percent of the time, to 99 percent of people, I’m an extremely polite, sweet guy,” Morelli says. “I have anger like anyone else, but to be honest, I see people freak out about little s---.” He didn’t think he was one of those people. Just the other day, he was near the TV, and the sound bar fell, and the cord attached to the sound bar broke off inside the TV. “I didn’t flip out.” Instead, he said, “Ah, crap,” got his needle-nose pliers, pulled out the broken piece, drove to Best Buy and bought a new cord.

“In ordinary life, it takes a lot to get me upset.”

What had made March 3, 2022, a different kind of day? Maybe it was the ECT. Maybe it was timing, the mania and depression coming together in his brain. Maybe Greene was “the worst person at the worst time to cross my path,” he says. Maybe he needed to “be heard,” he says, and the threat had been an expression of his loneliness and regrets. If he still spoke to his children, if his mom were still alive, if he still worked full time, if he hadn’t been watching so much TV news, if the news wasn’t about a country where so many people were making so many threats, maybe that night would have been different.

What he does know is that his threat happened, and he doesn’t want it to happen again.

“Going to jail again isn’t what’s stopping me,” Morelli says. “What’s stopping me is I don’t want to.”

He takes a sip of coffee. He gets up from the couch, opens the back door, and for now, at least, as he leaves the apartment, he feels no anger. He is a stone in a lake, gently and slowly floating."

He threatened Marjorie Taylor Greene. Then came the consequences. - Washington Post

No comments:

Post a Comment