Violent threats against public officials are rising. Here's whyEnlarge this image toggle caption George Frey/Getty Images George Frey/Getty ImagesFor extremism researchers, the shooting death this week of a Utah man who was alleged to have made violent threats against President Biden and other public officials highlights a concerning trend. Hughes has tracked the number of federal arrests over threats to public officials over the last decade. A recent University of San Diego study surveyed local public officials in that city and found 75% reported receiving threats and harassment. Violent threats against public officials, he says, tend to spike around moments of crisis or major news events.