A student government leader in Minnesota is reportedly urging peers to tie up resources and make life “hell” for campus police officers.
Lauren Meyers, a member of the Minnesota Student Association Executive Board at the University of Minnesota, allegedly encouraged other students to “use up” campus police officers’ resources to “annoy the s— out of them.”
“Use up their resources. Make their officers show up to something,” Meyers reportedly said on the call, which was first reported by Alpha News.
The Minnesota Police and Peace Officers Association and Law Enforcement Labor Services, both police unions, called for an investigation into whether Meyers violated the student code of conduct.
“Actively planning to thwart UMPD by generating false calls for help is insulting to the overwhelming majority of the campus community that rely on public safety services,” Minnesota Police and Peace Officers Association Executive Director Brian Peters said in the unions’ joint statement. “MSA leaders should be ashamed – and apologize to the campus community and victims of crime on campus. … We’re frustrated that elected student leaders would purposefully choose to stir further division to make the campus less safe.”
Meyers’s comments were reportedly in response to a letter the student government sent to President Joan Gabel calling for the resignation of the university’s chief of police, Matt Clark, whom they said “in no way, shape, or form aligns with the goals of the University of Minnesota community, especially in regards to the advancement of students of color.”
“Matt Clark has overseen and failed to act on the countless accusations of discrimination … and has approved UMPD’s utiliziation in the Brooklyn Center and Minneapolis protests in the wake of the murders of George Floyd and Daunte Wright. … [Therefore], we demand the immediate resignation of Matthew Clark as the chief of [the] University of Minnesota Police Department,” the letter said.
Gabel rejected the proposal to fire Clark.
“As we take our next steps, we do so with respect for student voice but with full support of the good work Chief Clark and his team are doing to advance our shared aspiration to be a more equitable and just campus community that is safe in every sense of that word,” he wrote in a letter to student government leaders, according to the Star Tribune.
Representatives for the University of Minnesota did not immediately respond to the Washington Examiner‘s request for comment.
The Minnesota controversy comes as a California professor who argued with a student about whether police officers are “heroes” has since taken a leave of absence. Among other remarks, the adjunct professor, who was in her first semester teaching at Cypress College, said she wouldn’t call police if an intruder entered her home because she doesn’t trust officers.
“A lot of police officers have committed an atrocious crime and have gotten away with it and have never been convicted of any of it,” the professor said.
Many on the Right have expressed their concern that free speech is being infringed on college campuses. The alleged censorship of opposing viewpoints prompted some academics to form the Academic Freedom Alliance, an organization to allow higher education scholars to express their viewpoints freely.
“Members of the Academic Freedom Alliance come from across the political spectrum,” its website reads. “We are united in our commitment to truth-seeking scholarship, and in recognizing that an attack on academic freedom anywhere is an attack on academic freedom everywhere.”