The University of Missouri Police Department sent an email to students on Tuesday calling on them to report “hateful and/or hurtful speech” so those engaging in it can be disciplined.
The email specifically asks students to call the police immediately when they have witnessed these infractions.
“Delays, including posting information to social media, can often reduce the chances of identifying the responsible parties,” the email notes. “While cases of hateful and hurtful speech are not crimes, if the individual(s) identified are students, MU’s Office of Student Conduct can take disciplinary action.”
— Thomas Bradbury (@Thomas_Bradbury) November 10, 2015
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…the MUPD confirmed that the email was real. When asked about the potential First Amendment implications, a spokesman responded simply, “We are simply asking them to report what they feel is hurtful and/or hateful speech.”
He added that the police did not consider the hateful speech “a criminal matter.” However, “We also work for the University and uphold the Universities Rules and Regulations.”
Major Brian Weimer of the MUPD told Campus Reform by email that, “We just want to make sure everything is dealt with properly…In order for us to take action, we need to have a report of it, not just get it out on social media.”
The MUPD email comes one day after university President Tim Wolfe and Chancellor R. Bowen Loftin resigned under pressure from students and faculty over what they saw as an unacceptable response to racial incidents on campus.