Skip to main content
Press Release

Florida Man Indicted for Making Hate Crime Threats against The Council on American-Islamic Relations (“CAIR”) Michigan Chapter

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Michigan

DETROIT – A West Palm Beach man was indicted by a grand jury for repeatedly threatening the Council on American-Islamic Relations (“CAIR”) Michigan Chapter, United States Attorney Dawn N. Ison announced today.

Ison was joined in the announcement by Cheyvoryea Gibson, Special Agent in Charge of the Detroit Field Division of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and Chad Baugh, Chief of the Canton Police Department.

As alleged in the indictment, Michael Shapiro, 72,  of West Palm Beach, Florida, placed three separate phone calls to CAIR’s office located in Canton, Michigan, and left voicemails containing the following threats:

  • December 8, 2023: “I’m going to kill you bastards. I’m going to kill you bastards.”
  • December 14, 2023: ““I’m going to kill you m****r f*****g bastards. Muslims! I’m going to kill you m****r f*****s. I’m going to kill you! I’m going to kill you! I’m going to kill you!”
  • December 15, 2023: “You’re a violent people. Why do you come to America? Why do you come to Europe? M***** f******. You’re violent. You’re killers. You’re rapists. I’m going to kill you m****r f*****s!”

Michael Shapiro, 72, was charged with three counts of transmitting threats in interstate commerce. The indictment also alleges that Shapiro intentionally selected the victim of his threats because of the actual and perceived religion and national origin of the people who work at and are assisted by CAIR.

“Today’s charges should serve as a warning that those who threaten violence, especially when they intend to instill fear on an entire community, will be identified, investigated, and aggressively prosecuted,” U.S. Attorney Ison said.

“Threats motivated by religious bias can have a devastating impact on an entire faith community. For this reason, hate crimes are one of the FBI’s highest investigative priorities,” said Cheyvoryea Gibson, the Special Agent in Charge of the FBI in Michigan. “We remain committed to working with our partners at the Canton Police Department and across the state to detect and prevent violent incidents motivated by bias or hate. We also urge the public to report any suspected hate crimes to your local police or the FBI at 1-800-225-5324. You may also submit an online tip at”

"The Canton Police Department extends sincere thanks to the FBI and U.S. Attorney's Office for their partnership in addressing threats by Michael Shapiro against the CAIR Michigan Chapter,” said Chief Baugh.  “Such collaborative efforts reinforce our commitment to combating hate crimes and ensuring community safety. We are resolute in our mission to uphold the safety and rights of every individual."

An indictment is only a formal charging document and is not evidence of guilt.  A defendant is entitled to a fair trial in which it will be the government’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. If convicted, Shapiro faces up to 5 years in prison for each of the 3 counts. If convicted, a federal court judge would determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Canton Police Department. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Frances Lee Carlson.

Updated March 6, 2024

Hate Crimes