Woman tweets that Howell should be first to burn; community responds

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In the wake of protests, looting and the burning of buildings taking place across the country, a woman wrote on Twitter that “the first city to burn in Michigan should be howell.”

Livingston County Sheriff Mike Murphy said they’re aware of the threat and are investigating, but that it doesn’t appear to be credible.

The tweet came from Twitter user @WowDamia. Her Twitter feed was publicly viewable until late yesterday, and now it’s locked down. But many of her tweets were captured and shared all over social media before she took them down. Her Twitter profile and picture match the social media profiles of a woman named Damia Morse, who works for the State of Michigan as a forensic psychiatrist.

The Livingston Post left messages for her on Facebook and LinkedIn, and we have not yet received a response. We also attempted to reach her on Twitter, but our account was blocked by her. We’ll update this story with any response she provides.

Her original tweet:

There have been protests across the country in response to the killing of George Floyd, an unarmed black man, in Minneapolis. Former police officer Derek Chauvin has been charged with murder in the case.

The tweet is apparently in reference to Howell’s longstanding (and unwarranted) reputation as the Ku Klux Klan capital of Michigan. When someone accused her of wanting to kill all white people, she responded with this:

This is Sheriff Murphy’s response, which was posted on Facebook:

On Behalf of all Livingston County Law Enforcement

First of all, we would like to thank our citizens for bringing to our attention the recent social media chatter about “burning down Howell.” We are in the process of doing threat assessments on these posts.

At the time of this release, it appears none are credible; but we continue to investigate. As your Livingston County Law Enforcement Officials, our goal is, and always has been, the protection and safety of our residents. We know the posts do not represent the mentality of our residents. The police – public relationship and mutual respect we have for each other in this county are second to none and no one wants to jeopardize that.

The tweet from @WowDamia drew a fiery response, both from people who supported her tweet and those who vigorously opposed it. Among those responding was former Livingston County Republican Party chairman Dan Wholihan, who wrote this:

Other responses:

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About The Livingston Post 1875 Articles
The Livingston Post is the only locally owned, all-digital information and opinion site in Livingston County, Mich. It was launched by award-winning journalists who were laid off from the Livingston County Daily Press & Argus by Gannett Co. Inc. in 2009.


  1. Everyone is so mad. Cheer up buttercup shes not setting fire to howell. She’s just saying crazy shit like all of you do to get a reaction. She got one.

  2. As a retired Sheriff Detective she’s promoting civil unrest and violence for out of county individuals to come in and burn and loot our peaceful county. Maybe the rioters could stop by her home and give her a taste of their rath. Ron Cooper

  3. And this person is treating citizens for mental health issues with such racist views?? Gotta wonder who the State is employing in this sensitive area??

  4. Why does this taxpayer funded forensic psychiatrist, still have a job? Wwhen she is advocating destruction in the state she is employed by? Wake up sheep.

  5. This women is a Michigan State Employee? She must be terminated! This is a viable threat shared to insight more Violence and rioting!
    Where does the Governor stand on this issue?? We are all very curious to see what she thinks of this.

  6. Yep, she is sick, and obviously a moron. This is a beautiful city, but rest assured, not a weak city. You don’t want to mess with us. Peaceful protests are one thing, but you threaten our town? Not smart.

  7. I am black and I live in Howell. “Ain’t nobody got time for that”……. leave the city of Howell alone. We’re not bothering ANYONE….. we out here peaceful.

  8. Governor Gretchen Whitmer, what are you going to do about this State employee threatening the lives of my Grandchildren? If you turn your cheek on this one you are proving to the country that you do not belong in the position of government you currently hold. Please protect all your people!

  9. Question, why is this not handled the same way s bomb threat is handled? She was specifically inciting people to a specific community for a specific criminal act.

  10. She’s sick… mentally. And, what ever Howell did or did not have in their past is just that, the past. My sister lives outside B’ham, Al., she’s from the north. Does that make her a racist because because the best pay for her careers (jobs) is in the South. She moved South, I moved North. Now what? 44 yrs ago to be precise.

    • She actually works for the state. The governor should make a public announcement that she has been fired. But that would require a governor who wasn’t completely incompetent and we seem to be short of those lately.

What do you think?