Lawmakers Block Bill Aimed At Ousting Professor Who Said Cops Need To Be Killed
Sacramento, CA – The Democratic-controlled California State Assembly refused to discuss a proposed resolution aimed at ousting a University of California, Davis professor who advocated for the murder of law enforcement officers.
“These comments are abhorrent and completely unacceptable, and have no place in our campus communities or anywhere else in society,” HR-22 read. “Peace officers put their lives on the line daily for the sake of the public’s safety and liberty, and the murder of peace officers is a crime against all of society.”
Gallagher also provided UC Davis administrators with over 10,000 petitions from Californians who demanded that Clover be fired from the taxpayer-funded university, according to the California Globe.
The Democrat Party “killed” Gallagher’s motion to have the resolution be heard and voted upon on May 24, Assemblywoman Melissa Melendez said in a video posted to Facebook.
“They won’t even allow the bill to be heard,” Melendez said. “They won’t even let it be discussed.”
She explained that the resolution “condemns the speech” of Clover.
“Joshua Clover has incited violence against law enforcement,” Melendez explained. “This is someone who’s in our state school, paid for with taxpayer dollars, inciting violence against law enforcement, and it’s not appropriate, and it’s not okay.”
The resolution called upon the university to condemn Clover’s speech and to terminate his employment at UC Davis.
“Incitements to violence are not protected speech under the First Amendment and the First Amendment does not entitle a person to teach impressionable students at a taxpayer-supported university,” HR-22 read. “Parents, students, and taxpayers deserve to know that UC classrooms are not platforms for advocacy of the murder of peace officers.”
“Sadly, the Democratic party that no action needed to be taken, nor did it even need to be discussed,” Melendez concluded in her video. “This is your one-rule party in California at its finest.”
In February, UC Davis comparative literature student Nick Irvin penned an opinion piece in The California Aggie addressing anti-police statements made by Clover.
Irvin said he first heard rumors of Clover’s anti-police statements months earlier, but that he initially thought the story “seemed too extreme to be believed.”
“Only the intellectually dishonest would even broach such blanketed and violent sentiments — certainly not a highly-regarded professor at a top public university,” Irvin wrote in the article.
But after Davis Police Officer Natalie Corona was fatally shot in the line of duty, Irvin began digging into the rumors about the author and poet to see if there was any truth to them, he said.
He didn't have to look much further than Clover's Twitter account.
“I am thankful that every living cop will one day be dead, some by their own hand, some by others, too many of old age #letsnotmakemore,” the professor tweeted on Nov. 27, 2014.
“I mean, it’s easier to shoot cops when their backs are turned, no?” a Dec. 27, 2014 tweet read.
During a Jan. 31, 2016 interview, the self-proclaimed communist shared his views on what he claimed was the main problem facing society.
“People think that cops need to be reformed,” he said. “They need to be killed.”
Irvin reached out to Clover to discuss his statements and viewpoints further.
“This was the first step to uncovering the standards to which our university holds its professors,” Irvin noted in the opinion piece.
But Clover maintained his anti-police position, and showed no remorse for his statements.
“I think we can all agree that the most effective way to end any violence against officers is the complete and immediate abolition of the police,” the professor responded in an email, according to Irvin. “Direct any further questions to the family of Michael Brown.”
Irvin then turned to UC Davis English Department Interim Chair Gina Bloom, who did little more than defend Clover.
“[He is a] valued member of our department and the university community; a strong and popular teacher; and a well published scholar and poet whose work has been lauded across the world,” Bloom declared, according to Irvin.
Provost Ralph Hexter said that the statements Clover made about murdering law enforcement officers did not violate the school’s standards of academic freedom, according to Irvin.
“The basis for academic freedom is to make sure that the university is a place where unpopular and different views are heard,” Hexter said. “I think that teaching controversial subjects is always a challenge, and you have to maintain a space as a faculty member so that views you might very much disagree with can be expressed by the students, be respected and be challenged, but according to bases in fact and logic.”
“Our practice has not been to discipline people for things that they say outside the university,” Hexter told Irvin.
“If you say something against a protected class, and it would impact the individuals on campus, that opens it up to a different line of consideration,” the provost added. “Being a law enforcement officer, or hoping to be, is not a protected class.”
Irvin said that UC Davis administrators refused to speak with Clover about the threatening comments, and that the professor remains in good standing at the university.
Clover refused to discuss the matter, according to multiple news outlets.
"On the day that police have as much to fear from literature professors as black kids do from police, I will definitely have a statement. Until then I have nothing further to add,” he told KTXL.