Video: Cop Threatens Students With Jail For Handing Out Pocket Constitutions
Video has emerged of two students at the College of DuPage, a university in Illinois, being threatened with arrest by a cop for handing out pocket Constitutions the day after Constitution Day.
The two students were also handing out fliers that stated “America is a free speech zone,” when they were approached by a police officer who subsequently threatened to take them to jail.
The footage shows student Joseph Enders asking the officer, “[w]hat are the rules for doing this kind of stuff on campus?”
“You go to the Student Life office, and they give you a permit to do so,” the officer replies.
“You can’t have everybody out here doing this,” the officer states, adding “Otherwise you’d have stuff lined up all along here, everybody having a different view and a different point, so you can’t do that.”
Wow, university students voicing and displaying their opinions in America… THE HORROR.
The second student, Kara Hamilton, then comments “So, like, free speech?”
“It’s not free speech, ma’am,” the officer asserts, claiming that “Nobody’s stopping you from free speech, but you can’t solicit out here, and basically you are—you’re soliciting your opinions. Okay? And you need to go get a permit.”
The exchange continues with Enders asking “Is speech a commodity?”
“Well, you’re handing out pamphlets and stuff like that, so that’s exactly what it would mean,” the officer responds.
The officer finally states “You can’t do it out here, otherwise I’m going to have to lock you up. I don’t want it to come to that; like I said, I want you to go in to Student Life.”
A bystander even attempts to stand up for the Constitution soliciting criminals, telling the officer “I asked for it, though.” But the cop has none of it, and the students are forced to retreat inside.
The cop had one more parting shot to take at the First Amendment, however, telling Enders that he could not take his American flag into the school building, without explaining why.
Exercising free speech is a First Amendment right protected by the Constitution. Unfortunately, increasing numbers of security and police officers seem to think it is a criminal offense on school and university campuses.