UT law professor defends tweet about Charlotte protesters
The University of Tennessee is investigating a law professor's remarks on Twitter that urged motorists to run down protesters blocking a Charlotte highway.
(WBIR) - The University of Tennessee is investigating a law professor's remarks on Twitter that urged motorists to run down protesters blocking a Charlotte highway.
Glenn Reynolds, who is also a columnist for USA TODAY, explained Thursday morning that Twitter suspended his account, but reinstated it on the condition he deleted the "offending tweet,"
"Run them down," Reynolds posted in reference to a news station's tweet about protesters stopping traffic and surrounding vehicles. The protests were in response to an incident on Tuesday in northeast Charlotte where police shot and killed 43-year-old Keith Scott.
"But lest I be accused of airbrushing, it’s preserved here," Reynolds added online, providing a link to a screenshot of his original tweet.
University of Tennessee College of Law Dean Melanie D. Wilson confirmed Thursday morning that the university is investigating the matter.
Dean Wilson said she's aware of the remarks and the "serious and legitimate concerns expressed by members of the UT Law family and the University of Tennessee community."
"Professor Reynolds has built a significant platform to discuss his viewpoints, but his remarks on Twitter are an irresponsible use of his platform," she added.
UT Knoxville Chancellor Jimmy Cheek issued a statement supporting Dean Wilson's response.
Before Twitter unblocked his account Thursday morning, Reynolds defended what he wrote.
"Sorry, blocking the interstate is dangerous, and trapping people in their cars and surrounding them is a threat. Driving on is self-preservation, especially when we’ve had mobs destroying property and injuring and killing people. But if Twitter doesn’t like me, I’m happy to stop providing them with free content," Reynolds wrote.
Full statement from the University of Tennessee College of Law Dean:
"College of Law Dean Responds to Professor’s Twitter Post
"I am aware of the remarks made last night on Twitter by Professor Glenn Reynolds and of the serious and legitimate concerns expressed by members of the UT Law family and the University of Tennessee community, as well as concerned citizens across the country. Professor Reynolds’ comments do not reflect my views and opinions, nor do they reflect the values of the college and university.
University administrators, college faculty, and I are investigating this matter.
The university is committed to academic freedom, freedom of speech, and diverse viewpoints, all of which are important for an institution of higher education and the free exchange of ideas. My colleagues and I in the university’s leadership support peaceful civil disobedience and all forms of free speech, but we do not support violence or language that encourages violence.
Professor Reynolds has built a significant platform to discuss his viewpoints, but his remarks on Twitter are an irresponsible use of his platform.
The College of Law is committed to ensuring our students learn in a welcoming, open, and inclusive community in which they can successfully pursue their law degrees and become not only responsible lawyers, but also responsible global citizens who are able to competently represent people of all backgrounds."