City Receives Threatening Letter Over Eminem Case

South Warren Street Kids say they will burn 'everything' in Warren, Mich., if rapper's charges aren't dropped.

Criminal charges against Eminem have triggered an anonymous threat against one of two Michigan cities where the Grammy-winning rapper was accused of assault and weapons violations last week.

Police in Warren, Mich., pursued undisclosed leads on Tuesday (June 13) in identifying the letter writer who threatened to "burn everything" if the case against Eminem isn't dropped. The country's hottest rap star, born Marshall Bruce Mathers III, awaits a court hearing July 11 on charges of carrying a concealed weapon and assault with a dangerous weapon, and a July 7 hearing for an unrelated incident in the city of Royal Oak.

The Warren case stems from an altercation June 4 outside a bar where police say Eminem went to spy on his wife, Kimberly Mathers, and saw her kissing a man in the parking lot.

The threat was mailed to Warren city attorney George Constance, who earlier had publicly vowed to file misdemeanor charges against the rapper if the Macomb County Prosecutor's Office refused to issue an arrest warrant.

The letter writer describes Eminem, a.k.a. Slim Shady, as "our Christ." "We party in his name. You'll be dropping the charges," the letter states. "We're coming uptown with 20-oz. Mountain Dew bottles full of gas and charcoal lighting fluid, and matches," unless the charges are withdrawn.

Serious Threats

Officials don't consider the letter a prank. "Anything like this needs to be taken seriously," Police Chief James Vohs said.

Laced with profanity and gang symbols, the two-page note does not directly threaten physical harm toward Constance. However, it caused him sufficient worry to move his wife and children out of the area.

But Constance himself vowed to stay put.

"I will not be intimidated and I won't back down," he said in a prepared statement. Officials considered posting a guard at his home.

The letter was signed South Warren Street Kids. Until now, that name was unheard of by investigators. But police — including the department's Gang Squad Task Force — suspect the letter originated in the city.

"But we don't know for sure," Deputy Mayor Mike Greiner said. "It can be taken in some respect as a threat against the city as a whole."

Despite the threat, Warren officials say they don't regret demanding last week that prosecutors authorize the warrant against Eminem.

"We took a tough stand and we weren't going to back down. But we expected some people would not be happy with the stand we took," Greiner said.

Rapper's Sales Not Suffering

Last week, about 70 fans waited outside the Warren District Courthouse for a chance to get a glimpse of the chart-topping artist.

His latest release, The Marshall Mathers LP, is atop the Billboard chart for the second consecutive week.

Noting that he hadn't seen the entire threatening note to Constance, Macomb County Prosecutor Carl Marlinga said he thinks the city overreacted.

"The city may be playing into the hands of those people who think this is a publicity event," he said. "If this letter came to our office, we probably would not have taken any action."

County prosecutors have not received any calls or letters on the Eminem case. But Marlinga said he would consider stalking, extortion or obstruction of justice charges if another threat is leveled against Constance or the city.

"From what I've seen of the letter, it seems to be a prank by a handful of fans," he said, "but you can't dismiss it" entirely.

John Guerra, the Warren man who alleges the rap star clubbed him with a handgun and threatened to kill him, sued Eminem for assault and intentional infliction of emotional distress.

Eminem's July 7 hearing in neighboring Oakland County, on charges of carrying a concealed weapon and brandishing a firearm in public, stems from an altercation in Royal Oak. Police said Eminem exchanged words with an associate of rival rappers Insane Clown Posse at a car stereo shop, about nine hours before the altercation outside Hot Rock Sports Bar and Music Café in Warren.

In both incidents, the 9 mm Smith & Wesson was unloaded. The gun was not legally registered to Eminem, although he was approved for a concealed weapons permit pending completion of a gun safety course.

Free on bond, he must provide his itinerary to police and prosecutors and notify them of where he's staying during his two-month summer tour.

Eminem, who formerly resided in Warren and Detroit, returns to the Detroit area for concerts July 6 and 7.