DAVIS (CBS13) — A state lawmaker is calling for action, asking UC Davis to fire one of its professors after he made comments about the “killing of police officers.”
Assemblyman James Gallagher is denouncing what he calls the downturn of civic dialogue.
“This isn’t a first amendment issue. what this guy said is an incitement to violence,” said California Assemblyman James Gallagher.
He is now calling on the community to sign a petition calling for the firing of UC Davis professor Joshua Clover.
“A lot of alumni and California taxpayers that fund this university have a voice through this petition,” said Gallagher.
In recent months Clover’s comments from a 2015 interview have been criticized. He said, ‘People think cops need to be reformed — they need to be killed’ in response to the question, “what’s wrong with society today?”
“I think the University would be well within its rights to fire him, whether or not they do that,” said UC Davis student, Nathaniel Williams.
Since these comments came to light, the campus has asked its legal team to review Clover’s conduct. When asked about the petition, a representative sent the same response they have sent previously.
“The UC Davis administration condemns the statement of professor Clover to which you refer. It does not reflect our institutional values and we find it unconscionable that anyone would condone much less appear to advocate murder.”
The California peace officers association agrees. Deputy Director Shaun Rundle said, “It’s very interesting that someone advocating for the extinction of law enforcement they are the very people protecting his first amendment right to do so.”
Clover is a faculty member in the department of comparative literature specializing in critical theory and social movements.
Gallagher says these comments go beyond academic discourse. And given the recent ambush and murder of Davis police Officer Natalie Corona, they are downright dangerous.
“Unless somebody stands up and says enough is enough we are going to see more of it,” Gallagher said.
Professor Clover sent the same statement he has previously sent as well.
“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.”
Assemblyman Gallagher will deliver the petition to the chancellor next week. So far 7,000 people have signed it.