Amy Fowler
Amy Fowler, a candidate for Salt Lake County Council District 7, reported to police that on Wednesday, Nov. 1, 2017, she received online messages from a resident threatening and sexually harassing her.

SALT LAKE CITY — A Salt Lake City Council candidate has gone to police after she says a resident sexually harassed and threatened her.

Amy Fowler, a candidate for the District 7 Salt Lake City Council seat, issued a statement Thursday evening saying she received three private Facebook messages Wednesday night, containing "extremely vulgar language," "explicit sexual content" and "a photo of someone brandishing a gun."

Fowler said she has reported the messages to the Salt Lake City Police Department, which has opened an investigation.

"I initially considered keeping these threats private," Fowler said. "However, I've decided that it's imperative that we talk openly about this type of harassment."

"Unfortunately, this is a classic example of the kind of mistreatment, sexual harassment, and violent threatening used too often to silence and intimidate women," Fowler continued. "I'm saddened, but I will not allow them to silence me or any member of our community."

Fowler is a public defender with the Salt Lake Legal Defenders Association.

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"Rather than discouraging me, this incident has reaffirmed to me the need for public servants willing to stand up and challenge violence in all its forms," she said.

Fowler thanked police "for their efforts to keep my loved ones and I safe."

Salt Lake City Council members have received threats in the past. Last year, City Councilman Derek Kitchen — who is openly gay — received an email with an anti-gay slur and a threat while complaining about the proximity of one of the proposed homeless shelter sites.

The Salt Lake City Police Department did not immediately return a request for comment Thursday night.