A University of California at Davis professor's history of advocating for the murder of law enforcement officers during interviews and on Twitter has been brought to light by an article in the student newspaper. The university is condemning the professor's comments.
English professor Joshua Clover reportedly said in a 2015 interview with SF Weekly, “People think that cops need to be reformed. They need to be killed.” He was answering the question: “What’s wrong with society today?”
Several old tweets from Clover’s account also advocated killing law enforcement officers and one even celebrated officer suicides.
“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,” Clover reportedly tweeted on Nov. 27, 2014.
“I mean, it’s easier to shoot cops when their backs are turned, no?” Clover also reportedly tweeted on Dec. 27, 2014.
That last tweet, even though it is more than four years old, is particularly painful in Davis, where rookie police officer Natalie Corona was killed in an ambush last month.
Clover declined to comment on his views advocating deadly violence, but he did tell CBS13, “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.”
Tuesday, UC Davis officials released a statement condemning Clover:
Former Sacramento Sheriff John McGinness is calling on the university to limit his speech or let him go.
“I’ve heard him hailed and lauded as an intellectual giant, well he’s not. With all due respect, that’s not symptomatic of somebody that has an abundance of intellect,” McGinness said. “You’re actually calling for the death of human beings. They have a right to say, ‘That’s not consistent with our values.'”
UC Davis may have a difficult time disciplining the professor or muzzling Clover's hateful commentary because of First Amendment protections and academic tenure.