ASHBURN, Va. (7News) — The Loudoun County Sheriff's Office is investigating threats made against a Loudoun County resident who has been outspoken at school board meetings.
“I have been threatened with a violent, violent crime and a hate crime,” said Elicia Brand, a Loudoun County parent.
Brand said she received nearly 100 phone calls and voicemails last weekend. She said some of the voicemails she has received include death threats.
“They’re threatening to curb stomp me,” said Brand, who is a Jewish woman. “Curb stomping is one of the most violent ways to kill somebody. It’s what the Nazis did to the Jews when they did not want to waste a bullet on them. This is terrible. This is very violent. It ends in death. It's a death threat.”
Brand showed 7News some of the voicemails. A man is heard referencing curb stomping and Nazis in the messages.
“They played music in the background [of the voicemails] talking about ‘don't poke the hornet's nest,” added Brand. “So, it's very intimidating. It's intimidation, it's harassment, it’s threats, and it's stalking. And this is a question of our First Amendment rights. We should be allowed to talk to our government. We should be allowed to say whatever we want as long as it's within the boundaries of being civil and not threatening. All I did was petition my government to ensure excellence in education, school safety, and parental rights.”
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The phone calls happened days after 7News exposed how some members of the Loudoun Love Warriors Facebook group made threatening comments towards Brand and another Loudoun County resident who has spoken at school board meetings.
A woman in the Loudoun Love Warrior’s Facebook group made a comment about curb stomping Brand.
Brand is not accusing any members of the Loudoun Love Warriors group, or any elected official and candidate, of leaving her the most recent threatening messages.
“I'm not going to accuse the other side of being the ones that are doing this because that would not be fair,” said Brand. “And I like to believe that I have a lot of integrity and I am very thoughtful and I'm not going to do that to them.”
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7News’ exclusive reporting got the attention of some members of Congress who asked the U.S. Secretary of Education about the threats in a congressional hearing on Tuesday.
“Would you support an investigation into this?” U.S. Rep. Bob Good asked Secretary Miguel Cardona on Tuesday.
“If a complaint toward our office for civil rights was filed, I would.”
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The “Loudoun Love Warriors” group includes people who appear to be associated with Loudoun County Commonwealth’s Attorney Buta Biberaj, County Supervisor Juli Briskman, School Board Chair Ian Serotkin, school board member Brenda Sheridan, school board member Atoosa Reaser, school board member Erika Ogedegbe, school board candidate Anne Donohue, sheriff candidate Craig Buckley, Loudoun County Supervisor Candidate Puja Khanna and County Chair Phyllis Randall. None of these elected officials personally made any threats.
Chair Randall and Supervisor Briskman released public statements criticizing 7News’ reporting.
Randall and Briskman demanded a retraction of the story and an apology. Randall wrote the story is “literally fabricated.”
It’s true, as 7News has reported, that Randall and Briskman appear to be associated with some members of the Loudoun Love Warriors Facebook group.
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A man who made comments in the Loudoun Love Warriors Facebook group, that alarmed some Loudoun County residents, was pictured with Randall on his Facebook page this year. The man wrote he was happy to call Randall his friend and family. In a separate photo on Facebook, the same man is pictured sitting in Randall’s chair in the Loudoun County Board of Supervisor meeting room. It’s a relationship that appears to go back to 2016. In 2016, Randall told the Washington Post, “You could just feel the anger radiating off him. I thought, ‘I need to talk to this young man,’ because that kind of anger can go in either direction.”
The man later responded to Randall's statement saying, "I met Chair Randall at a vigil for a slain friend," he told 7News in a statement. "YES, I was mad, I still am. She was a victim of domestic violence but NO, I was not about to hurt anyone. I DID work towards positive community engagement after that for years though."
Randall has ties to other members of the Loudoun Love Warriors group, including someone who did work for her campaign, according to campaign finance reports.
Briskman appears to be friends with Heather Gottlieb, a self-proclaimed member of the Loudoun Love Warriors group. Briskman has taken a selfie with Gottlieb and Loudoun County School Board member Atoosa Reaser.
Gottlieb has admitted to emailing people’s employers. As 7News reported, members of the Loudoun Love Warriors have disused ways to get people fired from their jobs.
In March, Briskman organized a rally with some members of the Loudoun Love Warriors group. And in a text to 7News, a member of the Loudoun Love Warrior group appeared to speak on Briskman’s behalf when the event was canceled.
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It appears Briskman nominated a member of the Loudoun Love Warriors’ group to a county commission.
It also appears that Randall and Briskman have “liked” photos of a member of the Loudoun Love Warrior’s group on Facebook. This member of the Loudoun Love Warrior’s group made a comment about curb stomping Brand. And this member of the Loudoun Love Warrior’s group appears to have developed a list that allegedly targets more than 100 people, including Gov. Glenn Youngkin, Lt. Gov. Winsome Earle-Sears, Attorney General Jason Miyares, Cornerstone Chapel Church and the church’s school that is expected to open this year, according to a whistleblower.
“And Phyllis, who represents me as a chairman of the board of supervisors never called to say ‘Hey, I am so sorry’. She did the opposite. She likes [name of the person who made a curb stomping comment towards Brand] Facebook pages,” said Brand.
Brand said she’s disappointed that Randall and Briskman are calling 7News' reporting “false.”
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“We're victims,” said Brand. “My family has been victimized by this. We have had the police here sitting in front of our homes, we had to invest in cameras. I'm afraid every time I go somewhere now because these threats, they’re real. They're not fabricated. The police are investigating. There have been search warrants issued. There will be protective orders issued. And Sheriff Chapman would not do any of that if it was not legitimate. This is legitimate. And the fact that Juli Briskman, Buta Biberaj, and Phyllis Randall turn their back[s]on a victim, it's soul-crushing when someone's threatened like this, especially Phyllis Randall who has a background in mental health. Put aside your political differences and call the person. I'm a community member. I'm a constituent. I've been threatened with a violent crime and a hate crime.”
7News offered interviews, on more than eight separate occasions, to Biberaj, Randall, Briskman, Ogedegbe, Reaser, Sheridan, Serotkin, Donohue, Buckley, and Khanna as of May 19, 2023.
Donohue, Buckley, and Biberaj have not yet agreed to a time for an interview with 7News.
Meanwhile, Randall, Briskman, Reaser, and Ogedegbe have refused to do an interview with 7News about their relationships with members of the Loudoun Love Warrior Facebook group. Ogedegbe said she was a member of the group but left after her election and before threats were made. Ogedegbe also added people to the Facebook group, according to screenshots obtained from a whistleblower in the group.
Sheridan and Serotkin have not responded to 7News’s interview request.
Khanna has not responded to 7News’s interview request. Khanna appears to have also been a member of the Loudoun Love Warrior’s Facebook group when the threats were made.