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Was it a Hate Crime?

Brett Blume
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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (KMOX)-   Was it a hate crime?  Thats what some senators are suggesting the motive might have been, when someone pasted gun crosshair stickers on their office doors at the Missouri Capitol.   Three of the targeted lawmakers were black female senators.

Senator Robin Wright-Jones is calling for more security.

“We need metal detectors we need to have bags looked at. It doesn’t make sense to access this building without having that done” said Wright-Jones.

Police patrolled the capitol halls yesterday and looked for fingerprints on the doors of the six senators who were targeted.

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Missouri State Senator Maria Chappelle-Nadal says she’s not going to let someone push her around or influence her political views.

“I’m not easily intimidated,” she explains.

However, “I have someone walk me to my car, I have my dog with me,” Chappelle-Nadal tells KMOX News.

The extra precaution of having a bodyguard where ever she goes is in reaction to the orange stickers that were placed on her office door at the State Capitol on Tuesday — stickers portraying the startling image of a cross-hairs on a gun sight.

Sen. Chappelle-Nadal was one of a half-dozen lawmakers to find the stickers on their doors, including another St. Louis-area lawmaker, Sen. Robin Wright-Jones.

“When we got the sticker on my nameplate, we thought perhaps someone was just playing around,” she says. “It was between one and 1:15 p.m.  Then, about an hour-and-a-half later, there was another sticker.”

She had her office staff call Capitol police and make a report about both incidents.

Chappelle-Nadal is out with a statement Wednesday that says, in part, “I condemn these tactics and the person or persons responsible. I find it appalling that anyone would find the image of a gun target crosshairs as funny or appropriate to leave on the nameplates of legislative offices.”

She says in addition to the bodyguard, she’ll be taking along her half-Lab, half-Australian cattle dog everywhere she goes until someone is caught.

Ironically, she got the dog named “Bartholomus” four years ago when she says she was being stalked during her 2008 Senate campaign.

“And that’s how serious I take this business,” Chappelle-Nadal says of the implied threat made in the form of the crosshairs sticker.

She also feels that when they catch whoever did it, that person or persons should be prosecuted for committing a crime.

“Absolutely, it’s a threat!” she exclaims. “It’s an overt threat when you put a gun crosshairs on the nameplate of a lawmaker’s door.  Are you kidding me? That’s a threat, that’s a target, and these people need to come to justice.”

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KMOX © Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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