A Queens lawmaker said Friday he received a threatening text message over his protests of Amazon's previous deal to build a major campus in the borough.
Queens Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer, an outspoken opponent of the proposed Amazon HQ2 in Long Island City, which he represents in the council, tweeted what appeared to be a text message from Josh Bowen, a Long Island City business owner.
The message instructs Van Bramer to apologize to Amazon's vice president of real estate.
Part of the text reads, "You will call John Schoettler and apologize. You can be at the back of the parade, or in front of the firing squad."
The message goes on to say, "Call now and I can stop the growing forces that will end councilman VanJobKiller's career. I will be on Neal Cavuto tonight. I can leave you out of it and focus on Amazon coming back, or I can add another sound bite on to the funeral pyre of Jimmy's career."
(The text message Van Bramer said he received from Amazon supporter Josh Bowen. JimmyVanBramer/Twitter).
Van Bramer said Bowen crossed a line and he's taking this very seriously.
"It is absolutely a threat. He was absolutely using a threat of violence and of ending my political career to force me to call Amazon's global head of real estate to apologize by 4 p.m.," the councilman said. "That is extortion. That is an outrageous act on the part of a greedy business owner."
Bowen, who Van Bramer said sent the text, is a staunch supporter for the Amazon deal and even traveled to Seattle this week to talk to representatives in person.
Van Bramer said on Twitter that he alerted the NYPD about the message.
The councilman has been derided for his protests of the Amazon deal, with some HQ2 supporters arguing his pressure caused the megacorporation to back out of the deal that was estimated to bring more than 25,000 jobs to New York City.