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Police investigating racist pictures sent to Mia Love

Mia Love is interviewed at her home in Saratoga Springs, Tuesday, Aug. 21, 2012
Mia Love is interviewed at her home in Saratoga Springs, Tuesday, Aug. 21, 2012
Ravell Call, Deseret News

SARATOGA SPRINGS — A packet of information sent to Mayor Mia Love's office that city officials described as racist launched a police investigation Tuesday.

City Manager Mark Christensen described the contents of the thick envelope as "disturbing" and "pretty creepy stuff." He said it included a picture of Love and her husband, Jason, and a hooded Ku Klux Klan character. There also were pictures of aborted fetuses, he said.

"I couldn't tell if it was threatening or anything. It kind of shocked me, what I saw," he said.

Christensen said the city has received others mailings aimed at Love but nothing like the one that arrived Tuesday. He said he turned it over to the police department.

Saratoga Springs Police Chief Gary Hicken said he assigned an officer to investigate.

"I can say it's racial in nature but I can't tell you it's criminal in nature," he said.

Love, a Republican who is locked in a heated battled with Democratic Rep. Jim Matheson in Utah's new 4th Congressional District, took a defiant tone when asked about the mailing.

"I want you to know, I want everyone to know I am comfortable in my skin. I'm comfortable and proud of my heritage. I'm proud of who I am. I know where I'm going and I know what we need to do to get this country back in order again. There isn’t anything that anyone can send me that will distract me from that so they can bring it," she said.

Christensen said the envelope contained fliers, pictures and pages printed from the Internet. He said the city has received mail aimed at Love four or five times before, but the latest envelope caused enough concern to involve police.

Love said she hasn't looked at the details of everything the city has received, but described what she saw as "divisive racially and negative racially."

"If there is a physical threat, I'm sure they will let me know about it. But I want them (police) to be aware and handle that," she said.

Calling herself a "tough cookie," Love said she would do everything she can to protect herself and her family. Hicken said police might increase patrols around Love's house as they would for any resident who receives threats.

Love said she believes she's a target because she poses a problem to the policies of the Obama administration. She said the threats are meant to divert her from the issues in the race.

"I knew that people would come after me," Love said. "I knew that people would try to change and distort information so I'm going to focus on things that are really important."

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