Police Chief Blowback

Video Credit: KHSL
Published on September 19, 2020 -

Police Chief Blowback

Action News Now anchor Debbie Cobb visits Chico state as she investigates what's behind an odd comment that wasn't very welcome to the new chief of the campus police department.

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Police Chief Blowback

Has a new police chief..

But his welcome has been far from traditional.

A memorandom to the university staff and students welcoming the chief was met by a verbal assault by a tenured professor that drew harsh criticism from the chico community.

Action news now anchor debbie cobb..

Investigates the controversy.

-nats bells on campus- the bells toll on the chico state campus..

But inside..

Chico state university president gayle hutchinson is trying to do damage control..

Her vice president ann sherman put out a memorandum welcoming chief matt dillon..

And stating it's been a challenging time for the university police department..

Sot pres.

Hutchinson: "we support law enforcement, in fact i'm a strong advocate of law enforcement and our university police department.

I have been, i always have been."

But, chico state professor, dr. lindsay briggs..

Responded to the welcome on her personal social media account..

Saying sherman was pandering to the university police department..

Briggs dropping the f-bomb and calling chico state administrators out of touch..

Dr. briggs, a self described feminist and anarchist..

Was unable to go on camera, but told me she stands by her statement and called exception to sherman, editorializing about how it has been a quote, "challenging time for u-p-d."

Briggs stating "you know what is more challenging than being a police officer?

Being a black person who is murdered by a police officer because of systemic racism."

End quote..

The exchange triggered numerous complaints from the community and chico state alumni..

But president hutchinson says hurtfull speech is 'free speech'... sot: "freedom of speech at times may be abhorrent speech, even hurtful speech."

The man at the center of this storm..

Chief dillon has been at the helm just a week... sot in chief dillon: "i think when you've been doing this job as long as you have, people are going to have their opinions.

And social media certainly makes it easier to express those very quickly."

Stand up: debbie: "so in these halls of acadademia..

What action will be taken, if any, against dr. briggs??

That we may never know."

President hutchinson could not discuss dr. briggs situation specifically, because it's a personnel matter.

When i asked her if she was aware of any incidents or history of prejudice or racism by any university police officer toward any student or staff member.

She said no.

We also talked to a few students on campus..

And whle they said they did not necessarily support dr. briggs statement, they did suport her right to free speech on her personal accounts, but, did not want to hear her opinions in the classroom.

Sot student: @2:50 (:10) jaden misencik- "not always, if it's in a professional setting or a public speech or something, definitely not.

But if it's on their own personal private forum of course, it's always available."

On the chico state campus, debbie cobb..

Action news now..

Coverage you can count on.

Dr. hutchinison says she is establishing a 'task force' with a diverse representation of students, staff, university police and community members to assure students and staff of every race feel welcome on campus.

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