Police Groups Ask The University of Minnesota To Investigate Student’s Call To Make Life “Hell” For Officers

Minnesota Police and Peace Officers Association and the Law Enforcement Labor Services has taken the unusual (if not unprecedented) step of asking the University of Minnesota to investigate a student for her call to make the lives of campus police a living “hell.” In a video conference captured on video, student Lauren Meyers is caught making the statements in her capacity as Chief Financial Officer of the Minnesota Student Association Executive Board.

The videoconference followed a decision from student leaders to send a letter to University of Minnesota administration demanding the resignation of the Chief of Police of the University of Minnesota Police Department (UMPD). The letter threatens “direct actions” if “our demands are not met.”

In the videoconference, Meyers calls upon students to tie up the police and harass them. Here is the critical exchange:

UofM Ranking At-Large Representative Andy Knuppel: You say disrupt UMPD. What exactly do you mean by that?”

Meyers: “Make their lives hell.”

Knuppel: “Yes.”

Meyers: “Annoy the shit out of them”

Knuppel: “OK”

Meyers: “I’m saying, what are they over? I don’t know Amy do you know? Morgan, you mentioned stuff with UMPD. [pause] Like, use up their resources. Make their officers show up to something. Um.”

The police organizations are alleging the possible violation of state law. Specifically, they cite Section 609.78 (shown below) on interfering with the emergency telephone calls and communications of police departments. That provision includes such crimes as “plac[ing] an emergency call and reports a fictitious emergency with the intent of prompting an emergency response by law enforcement, fire, or emergency medical services personnel.”

Moreover, the call to tie up campus police could result in harm to other students who may find the police unable to respond quickly to real threats or crimes on campus.

The university rules of conduct for students prohibits:

Subd. 8. Assists or Abets. A student or student group assists or abets prohibited conduct when the student or student group: (a) helps any other person engage in misconduct as defined by the Student Conduct Code; and (b) intends the misconduct to occur or knows that their actions are significantly likely to help the other person to engage in the misconduct.

As will come as no surprise to many on this blog, I would oppose any criminal charge for Meyers who is engaged in political speech. She did not actually interfere with police calls or engage in this criminal conduct directly. I believe that the First Amendment should protect such speech, even though it is reckless and offensive.

Furthermore, I would oppose any expulsion or suspension for Meyers for such comments.  I do believe however that the university as an obligation to respond, including the issuing of a formal reprimand since Meyers was calling for harassment in her official capacity. Her call could endanger both officers and other students.  Such a transgression warrant a response but also another chance for Meyers to show greater maturity and judgment. College students often make stupid mistakes, particularly when caught up in the passions of protests or social causes. They can learn from such mistakes and universities should seek to work with such students.

My greatest concern is the different treatment afforded students based on the content of such statements. I do not expect Meyers to be expelled.  Yet, there is a need for a clear and formal response from the university on this dangerous declaration. Frankly, I am not sure that the university would be as circumspect in cases where such reckless language is directed at others groups or causes.  The key protection for free speech is a bright line of protection that is clear and most importantly consistent.

The university issued a fairly tepid statement that, while noting that Meyers could be calling for criminal acts, did not include any indication of a reprimand or other formal sanction:

“The University respects the autonomy of the Minnesota Student Association as an independent governance organization for undergraduate students, including the autonomy of its membership to speak freely. However, in this instance, the University unequivocally disagrees with the ideas expressed about disrupting UMPD’s daily work. These ideas are illegal and would directly conflict with ongoing efforts to keep our campus community safe.”

This is a tad more than a “disagreement” when a student leader is advocating criminal acts as a way to harass campus police and make it difficult for them to respond to calls. At a minimum, the school should establish that calling for such harassment is a violation of the student code and that such conduct will not be tolerated in any student, including Meyers. My greatest concern is that, without such clarity from the university, some students might actually try to interfere with the police and trigger a criminal investigation. It is not the “ideas” that are illegal but actions that should be fully explained by the university as notice to this and other students.

Here is the underlying criminal provision:

Subdivision 1.Misdemeanor offenses.

Whoever does the following is guilty of a misdemeanor:
(4) makes a call for emergency police, fire, medical, or ambulance service, knowing that no police, fire, or medical emergency exists;
(6) makes or initiates an emergency call, knowing that no emergency exists, and with the intent to disrupt, interfere with, or reduce the provision of emergency services or the emergency call center’s resources, remains silent, or makes abusive or harassing statements to the call recipient.
Subd. 2.Gross misdemeanor offenses.

Whoever does the following is guilty of a gross misdemeanor:
(1) intentionally interrupts, disrupts, impedes, or interferes with an emergency call or who intentionally prevents or hinders another from placing an emergency call, and whose conduct does not result in a violation of section 609.498;
(2) places an emergency call and reports a fictitious emergency with the intent of prompting an emergency response by law enforcement, fire, or emergency medical services personnel; or
(3) violates subdivision 1, clause (6), after having been previously convicted or adjudicated delinquent for violating that clause.
Subd. 2a.Felony offense; reporting fictitious emergency resulting in serious injury.

Whoever violates subdivision 2, clause (2), is guilty of a felony and may be sentenced to imprisonment for not more than ten years or to payment of a fine of not more than $20,000, or both, if the call triggers an emergency response and, as a result of the response, someone suffers great bodily harm or death.
Subd. 2b.Other felony offenses.

Whoever does the following is guilty of a felony and may be sentenced to imprisonment for not more than five years or to payment of a fine of not more than $10,000, or both:
(1) violates subdivision 1, clause (6), after having been previously convicted or adjudicated delinquent for violating that clause on more than one occasion; or
(2) intentionally uses multiple communications devices or electronic means to block, interfere with, overload, or otherwise prevent the emergency call center’s system from functioning properly, and these actions make the system unavailable to someone needing emergency assistance.

32 thoughts on “Police Groups Ask The University of Minnesota To Investigate Student’s Call To Make Life “Hell” For Officers”

  1. In a sane society, we’d put her in the stocks for a day or so and put the pic on social media. JT seems to think that civilization is impregnable. History proves it’s not unless you protect it from people like Lyin’ Meyers.

  2. Turley-“another chance for Meyers to show greater maturity and judgment.”

    Best realized, I think, for the university to kick her to the kerb. Might sober a few other ‘children’ in the student body as well.

    Treat them like misbehaving children rather than as adults and they will never ‘mature’.

  3. If she disrupts the police they might not get to a call where one girl is trying to stab another girl to death. She might not kill her. The attack might just cause her to have to wear a bag the rest of her life. Another life made a living hell. Unfortunately the actions of the college student are not an occasional occurrence.

  4. Professor….I miss your distinction between repercussions such as criminal charges and such….saying it is her Right to speak out as she wishes…..and thus should not be prosecuted for that speech. Then you go on to say….the University should Reprimand her for that very same speech saying it was done in her official duties. If she can be reprimanded….she can be prosecuted. If she cannot be prosecuted…she cannot be reprimanded in my view. Which way do you want to go with this?

    I would like to see her drop kicked through the goal posts of life over her comments….no matter how that is done.

    If she has a problem with the Campus Police there are official ways to file her complaints and concerns…..until she avails herself of those methods….her conduct deserves to be investigated, prosecuted, and upon conviction….a punishment be inflicted.

    Dangerous rhetoric is just that….and inciting others to do wrong…..cannot be tolerated.

    Words matter…actions matter….and bad words and bad actions cannot be ignored.

  5. The police should get a search warrant for her smart phone to find out if she was already carrying out the action that she was recommending to others. It would be easy to check calls to the police department to learn if their had been a rash of false alarms. There may be a crossover from just free speech to illegal actions. A healthy suspicion should be in order. Keep an eye on future crime reports.

  6. Monumentcolorado: “Reduced job opportunities, associates moving away, general disdain.”

    Precisely! One’s rhetoric and actions have real world consequences as others express their freedom to react to offensive conduct. Just what Professor Turley will encounter for having joined the ranks of the discredited Fox News. When his Fox contract is not renewed, I doubt that he will find work again in the mainstream press. He may have to seek a job at Newsmax.

    1. Jeff Silberman, all of us here if given a preference would probably like to have Professor Turley’s income rather than yours. Jeff, don’t worry so much about the professors income. He’s doing alright for himself. I noticed how once again you have refuted his arguments with your continued diatribe about his working for Fox. Your brilliance and ingenuity are abundantly displayed for all of us to see. Second verse same as the first. Third verse same as the second. Ad nauseum. Ad maniacal.

      1. Thinkitthrough,

        “all of us here if given a preference would probably like to have Professor Turley’s income rather than yours”

        You can say that again! I’m not worried about his income. I’m worried about his reputation and soul. If I thought there was no good in the man, I would not waste my time trying to shame him into doing the right thing by leaving the despicable Fox News. I’m sure he does read the comments to his blog, but a man is guilty of all the good he has not done in life. So I feel it’s my moral duty to speak out. Somebody has to do it. I will. And I know that Turley would applaud my exercise of free speech even at his expense and deplore your attempt to cancel me.

  7. These idiots are fighting for total anarchy. A return to the rule of the club and the supremacy of criminals.

    They oppose law enforcement and the right to bear arms.

    Criminals have energetic champions today.

    Parents, don’t send your children to universities that will brainwash them with far Left propaganda.

  8. Sam Jones…came home…
    To his sis and brother too.
    After serving in the college on his knees!
    And the time that he’d served….
    had shattered all his nerves.
    And left a little commie at his knees.

  9. “The enemy is within the gates; it is with our own luxury, our own folly, our own criminality that we have to contend.”

    – Marcus Tullius Cicero

  10. What she was encouraging is a denial of service (DOS) attack on campus law enforcement. This is straight out of the anarchist’s toolbox.
    I don’t see how this can be considered protected political speech. She is inciting the making of false reports, which a crime. Therefore, even acting alone as a vocal provocateur, she is facilitating such illegality.

    It’s a huge mistake to coddle those employing such tactics.

    I would suspend her for a semester if I were the U.

  11. This is similar to the charge that Trump instigated a riot on January 6th with his rhetoric. There is a hard to define line between heated rhetoric and inciting unlawful acts. Charles Manson did not kill anyone but spent his life in prison. I tend to agree with Professor Turley that a stronger response along with a warning from the administration is the way to deal with the situation. After all, it seems likely that no one will actually do what the student is advocating. If they do, they should be expelled at a minimum. But, we are still waiting for justice for Jussie Smollett. I guess that, along with eth O.J. Simpson verdict, is what we can label black privilege.

    1. Barnum. I too noticed the part where she said to “peacefully make a hell of police lives”. Her encouragement to disrupt the police from stoping things such as robbery or rape on campus was just her way of peacefully protesting. Get up in their face she said. Sorry that was Maxine Waters.

    2. I think a bit if “training” is required to reset her attitude. A forced stint as a teacher at Hillsdale College would help her get her mind right. Being around Students that are not totally brainwashed with leftist twaddle, and know how to share true love and respect would be just the answer called for.

  12. At 18 one is considered an adult and parents are unable to see medical records, college transcripts, etc. although the parent is responsible for the bills of said adult until age 21 and medical insurance now covers the child until age 26. My thoughts are if the police are being “tied up” by these so-called adults, what will happen if and when a student finds him/herself in a situation, say rape or assault on campus (maybe herself) and the police are “tied up” at some non-emergency? Other thoughts are she may not directly make the illegal call to the police for a fake emergency but she has put the idea into the head of a more immature student than she. By what I read in Prof. Turley’s post, she is not responsible for that act? Free speech is one thing but free speech that causes danger is wrong.

  13. Ages:. At 16 one can drive a car. At 18 some can vote. Most in college are 18 or older.
    At 21 you can get a gun. Some states you can buy a gun at younger age.
    So sprec frei and forever hold your piece.
    Ich mochter for ein double barrel fur ein nach.

  14. The whole idea that undergraduates have an association from which they can assert power and control is ridiculous to begin with. That they misuse that power, even at this early stage of their lives, implies that they aren’t ready for it. Most students go to university to learn, not to start their terrorist careers. Faculty have been fired for far less than calling for actions against the police.

  15. She should be removed from her position as “CFO” of the Executive Board. She is obviously a “lame brain” and not capable of good decisions at this point in her life. She needs some more “educating” by the university, she obviously didn’t get it at home! If she were my daughter she would be “on her own”. This is what the colleges are turning out . . . leftists with no sense of thankfulness for what we have (had) in this country.

    1. “If she were my daughter she would be “on her own”.”

      You don’t sound like a good parent.

  16. Seriously, how old are these kids, 12? Why are they being put in positions of authority? Do their parents honestly see something like this and think, ‘Dang, honey. We did such a great job raising her.’? A spanking and taking her phone away would accomplish a lot more than anything admin might do. Pretty sad. Pathetic even. Don’t expect an emotional four year-old to show up each day as anything other than that emotional toddler.

    It may not be their fault they were raised in a particular fashion, but it is 100% the responsibility of more experienced adults around them to reign them in. You parents are the real failures in these scenarios, AND on a broader scale. Your mentality has become calcified and now impacts your every decision. Does anyone honestly believe our less scrupulous leaders and institutions are *unaware* that they have been handed the most easily exploited generations to date, in gift wrap?

    1. “A spanking … would accomplish a lot ”

      Hitting kids is abusive. If you have kids, learn to discipline them without abuse.

      1. “Hitting kids is abusive. If you have kids, learn to discipline them without abuse.”
        Yeah, right. Tell us about all of your kids you’ve raised to greatness. LOL

        I’ve got two who’ve done pretty well even in the face of the “abuse” of pops to the backside.

  17. The university should handle the matter the same way they would if this was a White kid supporting police or a White kid condemning scapegoating of White Americans.

  18. Ms Meyers will find out that actions have consequences.

    The internet never forgets and this incident will haunt her for a long time.

    Reduced job opportunities, associates moving away, general disdain.

    Ms Meyers has essentially condemned herself to the Lefty ghetto.

    She better hope that the Lefty wave lasts.

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