Universities are developing a reputation for being mini fascist states, only allowing speech that the university administration agrees with, or is considered “politically correct.” The University of South Alabama has lived up to the reputation by citing a student who was peacefully wearing an empty holster in a protest over the universitity’s no weapons policy. The campus policy does not prohibit holsters. The campus police say they cited the student because “someone called it in.” They issued a citation for “engaging in activities that threaten the safety of the campus community” and for a general prohibition on engaging in conduct that violates university rules. In practise, this is a gag on any protest that the administration disagrees with. From campusreform.org . . .

“Is this just because I have a holster on me?” Parten asks the officer after turning over his identification.

“Yeah, it is, because somebody called it in,” the officer replies matter-of-factly. “You know there’s a no-weapons policy out here, but still you want to push it.”

“Uh … this is a protest,” Parten submits after a short pause, evidently caught off-guard by the notion that an empty holster might violate the policy.

“Did you get permission to wear it?” the officer queries him.

“I don’t need permission to wear it,” Parten replies confidently.

“You need permission from the university.”

“To wear a holster?” he asks with undisguised incredulity.

Standing his rhetorical ground, the officer simply shrugs off the challenge and says, “There’s a no-weapons policy here.”

“It’s not a weapon.”

“I understand that,” the officer concedes. “Take it up with Dean of Students, then, because y’all are gonna be written up for disciplinary [sic], and I will put in there your attitude, you understand?”

When “progressive” fascists on the left want to scream, protest, or shut down speakers they disagree with, and take over buildings, the progressives call it free speech. When freedom fighters attempt the slightest expression of disapproval, their speech is shut down. For progressives, free speech means the freedom to agree with them.

UPDATE [via al.com]: The citation was thrown out, the two cops were forced to apologize to the holster carriers, and the cop that issued the citation, Officer David Turppa, was suspended for a week without pay.

©2016 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.
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74 Responses to University of South Alabama Campus Cops Write-Up Student for Open Holster Protest (“Engaging in Activities that Threaten the Safety of the Campus Community”)

  1. Sounds like somebody needs to get a lawyer quickly. I can think of at least two constitutional rights violations With no actual Law being broken or regulation being broken just a bunch of bullshit as usual politically correct crap that won’t fly in court.

    • He wasn’t written up for committing a crime, but for violating University policy, so the only “court” will be the Dean.

      • Not a Constitutional law expert, but do our Constitutionally protected rights not apply once we cross onto university property?

        If the SCOTUS determined not too many years ago that burning or walking on the American flag was Constitutionally protected as First Amendment free speech and that sodomy was protected as “right to privacy” under certain conditions how can wearing an empty holster not be considered exercising the protected right of free speech?

        Fascists, yeah, that about sums it up.

      • If it’s a public institution they cannot inhibit free speech.

        Even if it’s a private institution I’d wager he would have a good civil case since there’s no rule against holsters and no one’s safety was harmed. Contractual law instead of Constitutional.

        • If it’s a public institution they cannot inhibit free speech.

          Wow. You have not been paying attention at all to current “Higher Education”.

        • If it’s a public institution they cannot inhibit free speech.

          Ever hear of “safe spaces”? Speakers being cancelled? Students being prohibited from handing out free copies of the US Constitution? Etc.

  2. I would have asked to borrow the mall cops pen and then promptly stabbed him in the neck.

    The pen he used to write the “ticket” is far more dangerous than the holster.

    • The only type of holster that could cause any type of damage would be like an old western style holster and only if you’re into the erotic asphyxiation I believe is the term LOL.I may have goofed on that spelling But I think we all get the gist of the matter This entire thing Was completely ridiculous I would have been laughing in the cops face literally just in tears laughing And asking for their names and their badge numbers So my lawyer can make contact to you and your sergeant What a joke.Next they’ll be Giving out citations to people with NRA hats or shirts promoting the Second Amendment with a rifle On it such as a modern sporting rifle. What has this country come to???

      • Keep in mind that this is a university campus and these are cops employed by the Uni. They may or may not be licensed peace officers and could very well just be minimum wage rent-a-cops. What this means is that they work for the school administration and everything they did in this interaction was sanctioned, if not ordered, by the Office Of the Dean. So, you or you lawyer can complain all day long and absolutely nothing is going to be done to the campus cops.

        There was a time when colleges and universities were genuine places of learning. Throughout the last century America had the finest higher education system in the world. Sadly, that has now pretty much been destroyed. I retired from teaching a few years ago. Looks like it was just in time.

        • “So, you or you lawyer can complain all day long and absolutely nothing is going to be done to the campus cops.”

          Read Dean’s update. Your prediction was off.

    • Not every university, Guardino… just the state run ones, to start. Otherwise, you would lose Hillsdale, Liberty, Oral Roberts, Regents and many other private, conservative, faith-based universities.

  3. “For progressives, free speech means the freedom to agree with them.”

    This is the best thing I have read all week. I can assure you, I’ll be borrowing that phrase quite frequently from now on. Couldn’t be more accurate or more succinctly stated.

    • It’s a good line and may well hold true, but in this specific case it was the university administration that set things right. It was just a couple of jackwagon college cops who felt froggy and got slapped down.

      • “I understand that,” the officer concedes. “Take it up with Dean of Students, then, because y’all are gonna be written up for disciplinary [sic], and I will put in there your attitude, you understand?”

        I love it.

        The cop pulls the ‘your attitude’ card and gets the equivalent a few hundred dollars fine (the week off with no pay) for *his* attitude.

        That cop got bitch-slapped down in *style*.

        RECORD your interactions with the police, people…

        *snicker*

  4. Uuuhhmmm, like, they dropped the charges, entirely. The same day. No violation.

    Is it unreasonable to understand that if you are a protester, you just might have to pay a price? The civil rights protesters in the early 60s didn’t get a pass just because they were “protesting”.

    • Unless the officer and his immediate superior were fired, fined, or suspended, no it’s not okay. The same thing would happen to me if I walked around harassing and threatening people I didn’t agree with, it should also happen to them.

      Edit: Apparently that happened, so I’m good.

  5. There is a line. For me, that brown shirt crossed it. I’m too old to be pushed around by a brown shirt meter maid wannabe.

  6. Interesting. I wear my empty holster to school every day at ASU Poly. I have for about a year now. It’s easier to take the gun out and put it in the glovebox than it is to take the whole holster off. All of my teachers have seen it. Some have even commented on it. I also walk past the campus police HQ every day.

    • Awesome! a small win. But that campus cop with that attitude will get another job waiting to bust someone for no reason.

      • I’m a little confused maybe someone out there can help me? Are campus cops here in Florida are sworn in officers to the Constitution Are we talking about the same type of cop are cops here in Florida carry guns are legal Law Enforcement Officers sworn to uphold the Constitution.Are these real police officers or are these rent-a-cops hired by the university to patrol 9 to 5 or 9 to 6:30 p.m.? Or are they law enforcement officers that carry handcuffs a gun bad and so on??

        • Give the Florida Highway Patrol a call, they can probably clear things up for you. Here in Kentucky, we have both depending on the size of the school. UK has sworn officers, they are legal to arrest or write tickets on the streets of Lexington.
          Some of the smaller colleges I have seen just had private security, one even let the baseball team write parking tickets.

    • Thanks for the information and the link. Way too often a cop or campus security cop feels the need to do something “because it was called in.” They seem unable to grow a pair, that includes the dispatcher.

    • THERE ya go. The university admin pulled through for the second amendment. Over the cops.

      Ok, so the cops want our support? They’re tired of being vilified by the media? They wonder why more of us don’t speak out when one of the donut-mass-murderers gets shot by a scumbag?

      When the supervisor is the first one to publicly come down on this prick and the shit rolls downhill as it goes higher up…

      When the Fraternal Order of Police issues a letter of censure to this prick within 2 days…

      When he is sunk as quickly as Paula Deen or Don Imus, (who btw did not betray the oath, the badge, or the flag they swore to protect…

      When the blue line can be counted on to be on the right side, the constitutional side, the principled side, instead of the convenient and statist side…

      Then I would get up in the middle of the night, strap on plates, and kill for the blue.

      But right now it seems the educational cartel is more dependable to enforce your 1st and kinda-sorta-2nd amendment rights than any of these badges. That should show you how deep the perversion and self-serving goes.

  7. In order to make the rules, first you must rule. When you don’t vote and let the Democrats use their power to twist culture or the Dept. of Education to make the rules, this is exactly what you get.

    This is what happens when we allow the left to take over education. The pendulum has been swung left for some time and it will not be easy to swing back. Universities are an echo chamber of Progressive Left Ideas. No other voice is allowed. You have to line up, or they will use their majority power to shut you down. And, if the Universities are nothing, this thinking starts in K-12.

    • All the more reason to get the state completely out of the education business entirely. Private education seemed to work for most of human history just fine, and even today, any list of the “best” colleges in most fields is more private universities than state schools. No reason that can’t work at all levels of schooling.

      • Ooooo…good point.

        Now, take that idea the next step. Read John Taylor Gatto’s material on why compulsory public education was passed and implemented into its present form.

        Oh, and fun fact: literacy rates have dropped since the advent of compulsory public education laws went into effect.

        “Education” in America is a great lie. Few want to face that fact, but there is ample evidence to support the statement.

        • “Oh, and fun fact: literacy rates have dropped since the advent of compulsory public education laws went into effect.”

          Oh, yes. I read something interesting the other day on university grades.

          In the 1940’s, less than 20 percent of university grades were A’s, today, an ‘A’ is the most common grade.

          A few years back I was looking at my parent’s textbooks when they were in High School in the 1940’s.

          The education they got in High School then was as good or better than an undergrad university education *today*…

        • Geoff, I have an old (copyright 1883) arithmetic textbook that belonged to my grandfather. It appears to have been intended for middle-school-aged children, and includes both written and oral questions. The “easier” oral questions, presumably to be calculated in the student’s head on the fly, would likely be excluded from tests like the SAT and ACT today for being too difficult. I’ve got an aerospace engineering degree, and some of the math problems in that book made me have to really stop and think.

          It’s the old textbooks that really show how far our education system has fallen. I’m surprised there hasn’t been an effort to “Fahrenheit 451” all of them.

  8. “and I will put in there your attitude, you understand?”

    Oh nice. Remember that line from Dr. Zhivago?

    “Your attitude is being noticed. It’s been noticed!”

    These people are good little collectivists.

  9. So now Officer David Turppa has joined Officer Daniel Harless in the Petty Tyrant Hall of Shame. Congrats, Officer Turppa. You belong in a uniform. Just not the one you’re wearing.

    I suggest something in black, designed by Hugo Boss in the late 1920s.

  10. Thank you for adding the update. It seems logic may still have a home at our universities. A$$hole cops, while not the norm, have always been an issue. Plus I imagine being a university cop is an easier job to get than being a real cop.

  11. I wonder if the empty holster thing would be ok at a highschool. I am a senior and was on our rifle team so my school isn’t one of those crazy Antigun schools but bit nervous they may throw a big fit about this.

    • Courts have generally recognized that K-12 schools as what are best called Constitution-Lite zones. The holster, even if empty, could legitimately be recognized as disruptive to the learning environment.

      As a senior, you’ve got a month of school left, maybe month and a half. Don’t get suspended/expelled for this.

      • So yeah just because you only have a month to two months of school left go ahead and let them Stomp all over your constitutional rights My ass! This was a peaceful non-violent display of protest Legal in the United States of America For you to make statements Like you did you must be a moron. Or another Marxist because our entire school systems Were based on a Marxist blueprint Basically socialist That’s why you have no rights when your in school But legally yes you do the Constitution does not end At the campus store. People like you need to be Caught some history lessons.Men and women alike have both given their lives in the last two hundred and twenty plus years So that You can peacefully demonstrate against things you do not agree with That’s what this country’s freedoms are all about And for some asshat College cob With an attitude problem Obviously anti-gun Needed to be put in his place and held on a short leash. If he is a uniformed officer that carries a badge and a gun he took an oath To defend the Constitution against exactly what he was doing l!

      • Do you think he could get away with wearing it under his graduation ‘frock’, then after the Dean hands him the diploma, reveal the holster with a banana in it?

        (And yes, in school I was ‘that kid’ who frequently pushed the limits)

        • I’d be even more careful with that. Since he can’t punish you with grades and a diploma he might just have you arrested and charged with making terrorist threats. Since you’re 18 now you’ll get a felony record which will ruin your life.

        • I agree. Even after graduation, it’s risky. K-12 students, schools, and events are all treated differently than other public events. There are limits on 1A, 2A, and 4A rights that we ordinarily find unacceptable, yet have allowed both legislature and judiciary to create and validate.

          It’s problem, and if you can get the right combination of sympathetic act, players, publicity, event, and timing, a protest could strike the right blow. I suspect it would need to be a pure 1A protest at this time – there are too many who still care little for the 2A and who would sacrifice the 4A in the name of public safety to get the ball rolling there.

  12. Too true. Guys like these bums are a disgrace to my profession. Yes, getting a call that there’s an unconcealed weapon on campus is cause for great concern, but apparently they forgot during these guy’s training that you can choose after investigating that there was no wrong doing, and just write it off. And attitude? Seriously? I get more gruff from people needing their doors unlocked then these two. Did they pass a few subtle jabs? Sure. But guess what, It’s a bit of fun ribbing. They were saying yes sir and no sir. Cripes, if I was there, I’d have pulled those two aside and been like, “Seriously? What about that guy with the bag, or those gals with their purses? They’re more likely carrying a weapon then these jokers. Let’s walk away from this one, someone saw a holster, whoopty doo.”

    • “an unconcealed weapon on campus is cause for great concern”

      And why, pray tell, is THAT?

      Is it merely because OC is currently against the law where you work? Or, is it merely because it is against policy where you work?

      So, let’s ask it this way: If OC was both legal AND not a policy violation in your AO, would you still view an unconcealed weapon as a “cause for great concern?”

      • JR,

        Thanks for asking. I’ll answer all of your questions, starting from the beginning. No, OC is not illegal in my state. Yes, it is against campus policy to have a weapon. To answer the other bit, I view any call of a weapon as cause for concern, yes. For example, if they say it’s unconcealed, it’s very easy to interpret that as “Being brandished.” That all said, I ask you not to take tiny bits of what I say out of context. I said in the exact same sentence that you pulled your quote from, that you can investigate and decide there is no wrong doing. I’m required to investigate anything that’s called in. Somethings are a bit of a priority, such as a vehicle broken down in a parking lot taking priority over say, a malfunctioning sprinkler.

        • “To answer the other bit, I view any call of a weapon as cause for concern, yes.”

          Fair enough. Now you are saying “any weapon call,” so the visibility itself of the gun is not what makes it dangerous to you.

          So, the question then becomes why do some someones think it appropriate, responsible or necessary to make a call and report a holstered handgun, just because it is visible.

          (General question, not related to campus carry in your AO…)

          “For example, if they say it’s unconcealed, it’s very easy to interpret that as “Being brandished.””

          It might be easy to make that interpretation, but

          (a) How often (what percentage) do you get ‘weapon is visible’ call when it is, in fact, being “brandished”?

          (b) “Unconcealed” can be in a holster. Why would one assume “unconcealed” is “brandished.”

          (Again, general question beyond scope of campus carry).

          “That all said, I ask you not to take tiny bits of what I say out of context.”

          I did no such thing; that’s why I asked the questions I asked. They were questions to learn your answers as opposed to making pre-suppositions about what you think.

          Please consider my questions / comments as “discussion,” not “challenge.”

          “I said in the exact same sentence that you pulled your quote from, that you can investigate and decide there is no wrong doing.”

          Sure you can, but you were the one that stated “unconcealed is a concern.”

          The question that comes up a lot is: “Does the mere sight of a firearm constitute a threat?”

          Personally, I think that’s a ridiculous notion; a holstered firearm OC’d is no more of a threat than a holstered firearm concealed is. So, it is illogical on its face to assume so.

          Yet many people do think “visible” is some deciding factor in threat assessment. Note that I am specifically talking about visible but HOLSTERED in this context.

          “I’m required to investigate anything that’s called in.”

          Sure, but as has been stated many times, is it a PROPER use of police resources to investigate “visible weapons” if there is (a) no violation of the law and (b) no specific threat?

          The question is larger than you and your agency. The question concerns what is deemed acceptable. If your agency is like mine was back in the day, little patience is given to “false reports.” Yet, there DOES seem to be some tacit acceptance that a “false report” concerning OC’d firearms is a call worthy of investigation.

          Do your dispatchers ask such callers: “What is he doing with the gun? Is the gun in his hand (aka, “Brandishing” so that you don’t have to make an assumption)? How is he acting? Is he threatening people?”

          A few brief questions would settle the matter….AND…give you, the responding officer, more specific information as you approach the subject.

          “Somethings are a bit of a priority, such as a vehicle broken down in a parking lot taking priority over say, a malfunctioning sprinkler.”

          Yes, indeed. And OC of holstered handguns by law-abiding citizens that are not acting threatening in anyway, shape or form should arguably not have any priority at all. See above comment about proper use of resources.

          A “person has a visible gun” call is analogous to a “Guy sitting in a car” call. Both involve a person with potentially dangerous tools at the ready. I’m sure you would label the latter as ridiculous without additional specific information that he is suspicious or something. Yet the former gets a pass because “guns icky.”

        • if they say it’s unconcealed, it’s very easy to interpret that as “Being brandished.”

          Wow, way to jump to conclusions. Perhaps you should train your 911 operators to ask the caller if someone is waving their gun around in a menacing fashion or merely carrying a holstered handgun openly. I would think that would be vital information for an officer to know before he arrives on scene.

  13. It seems the only government place in the south you can have your gun rights challenged is government college property.
    If it was me I would be asking the government representative called a policeman if he swore to defend the constitution or is he just following orders as other police have done in the past.
    Higher education is the enemy. You don’t need to physically go to a college to get a great education. It has become a paper chase. Students of the gun will learn more with the Internet, their civil rights and history, than they will by going to a college.

    • A lot of college students would be happier, more knowledgeable, owe less debts and earn more money if they learned a good trade.

      There’s an old story about a homeowner with a plugged toilet who called a local plumber. The plumber unclogged the porcelain convenience and charged the homeowner $100.

      The homeowner said, “Wait a minute. That’s $600 an hour! I’m a highly regarded business consultant and I don’t make $600 an hour!”

      And the plumber replied, “Neither did I when I was a highly regarded business consultant.”

      • This Ralph. Peeps will pay market not to have Babe Ruth Bars flowing through their house on Bat Mitzvah night in their home celebration. Mike Rowe is right.

        • “Mike Rowe is right.”

          Very much so in many ways.

          The dude is truly a ‘hero’ of the modern times. He’s certainly fighting a good fight against overwhelming social and cultural pressure.

      • Of course a plumber should make more than a business consultant. One makes shit disappear, and the other one generates mountains of it.

  14. Good to see these officers getting put in their place about abusing a vague law in a manner that violates free speech on a statement of another right being violated.

    The second officer seemed to be neutral on it overall, it seemed as if the first was the one that wanted to start trouble.

    The other question is of course whether or not that “trigger warning” complaintant was given a bit more education on what does and does not constitute a threat.

  15. The more they do stuff like this the more it will backfire. Like Prohibition did both in a good way and a bad way. Forgive them they know not what they do.

  16. “the cop that issued the citation, Officer David Turppa, was suspended for a week without pay.”

    I thought they left, presumably to get fresh marching orders, then came back and wrote the citation. If they’re going to throw Turppa under the bus, I hope he drags whoever told him to write the ticket down with him.

  17. Those guys were not “rent-a-cops”! They were wearing a hat that said “police” and referred to their “sergeant” and “lieutenant”.

    That student has to press charges for Deprivation of Rights Under Color of Law under federal statute.

  18. You guys are meanies. Some liberal probably left a trail of urine all the way to the nearest safe space because of this.

  19. The first officer had tones of meanness and anger in his voice. He emphasized the words “push it” and emphasized every syllable of the word expect. He was so accusatory. Officer Turppa wasn’t simply following orders. He was in pissed off punishment mode to this peaceful protestor! I’m glad the university favorably resolved the issue so quickly and did the right thing.

  20. What a dumbass cop. No way I would have put my name on a citation that baseless and nitpicky. Any good officer values his reputation both in court and in the community, writing a cite just because and on questionable grounds is not how you do that.

    • “Any good officer values his reputation both in court and in the community, writing a cite just because and on questionable grounds is not how you do that.”

      It depends entirely on whose reputation he values. If he is in Brownshirt mode and that’s who he is trying to impress (which can include “the court” and members of his “community”) well, yes…there are cops that would sign such citations in a heartbeat.

      And, stand behind that decision in the full knowledge of being “right.”

      We can’t afford to pretend such cops are not out there…

  21. As massive a failure as the education system is in the US today, I’m actually amazed that he wasn’t expelled for “open display of a firearm”. The fact that there was no firearm is increasingly irreverent to the higher education crowd.

  22. I saw that the citation was thrown out. If not, I would have suggested that the next protest be duct tape over the mouth with “university policy” in sharpie ink…

  23. Well…

    Officer Krupke(*) there & partner showed a lovely lack of judgment and discretion. And despite the attempt at calm reconciliation at the end, both of then were until then dickish & overbearing, and unnecessarily so. So good on the kids involved in political speech to get an independent record, including their attitude.

    Whoever dispatched this, whoever set up and manages the investigation policies & procedures, whoever shepherds the attitudes and “culture” on campus also failed in using discretion and judgment. I look forward to each of them being penalized, similar to the penalties imposed on the enforcers.

    If they’re serious, the college administration itself should be pursuing the false reporting investigation, into whoever called it in.

  24. It’s like that where I am. The school security people visited me because I told someone that instead of trying to convince thugs to stop attacking you, you are far more likely to have effective results backing yourself up with force. Needless to say, a month and then GOODBYE HIVEMIND and the PRMD.

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