Tallahassee community reacts to ricin letters

Posted at 6:29 PM, May 31, 2013
and last updated 2013-05-31 14:58:40-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL)--Officials and officers are on high alert with letters popping up across the country even right here at home in Tallahassee.

The chairman of the Tallahassee Community College's criminal justice program weighed in the issue.

"You will have to kill me and my family before you get my guns."

That's what ricin-laced letters reportedly said to New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and a gun control group. The letter to the president is now being tested for the poison.

The criminal justice department at Tallahasse Community College  weighed in on why someone would possibly do this.

"It's a perception an individual has based on the perceived injustice, they want to right what they see wrong or make a statement," said Chairman of the Tallahassee Community College Criminal Justice Department Frank Leonard.

After 9-1-1 there were anthrax scares but now the tactic of choice seems to be ricin.

"Anthrax is in research centers," said Leonard. "It's very hard to get. You can grow castor in your backyard and get castor beans."

Even the recipe for it can be found online.

"It's extremely lethal if inhaled," said Leonard.

Tallahassee has had it own scares.

April 29, the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles had to be evacuated after a letter that claimed to contain anthrax. No signs of the lethal substance were found. Just Thursday a mail clerk at city hall came across a letter thought to be suspicious but it turns out the letter contained just crumbs of food.