Two students at an Illinois college were threatened with incarceration for exercising their First Amendment by a local police officer.
At the College of DuPage, a public institution, two students were carrying a flag, passing out pocket Constitutions and fliers that read “America is a free speech zone” when they were approached by a uniformed police officer.
In the footage, the officer tells the students they can’t “solicit their opinion” on campus unless they get a permit from the Student Life office,” TheFreeThoughtProject.com reports.
The officer tells the students that they need to get a permit and that they can’t “just do it whenever you want.”
“You can’t do it out here, otherwise I’m going to have to lock you up,” the officer told the men.
Engaging the cop, one of the men asks, “What 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 replied.
A representative from the group Turning Point USA, Kara Hamilton, was with the students. She interrupts the officer, asking about the First Amendment.
“It’s not free speech ma’am. Nobody’s stopping you from free speech, but you can’t solicit out here,” the officer said, to which one of the student quickly responds, “What are we soliciting?”
The officer then goes full tyrant, telling them that they are soliciting their opinions, which will require a permit.
“You’re soliciting your opinions… You need to go get a permit,” the cop said.
A student who has been trying to form a “Turning Points USA” club on campus for some time told Campus Reform that he has been getting objections from administration.
“I’ve had some problems starting the club,” he said. “They told us that we need three members and a full-time faculty advisor, but they wouldn’t let us clipboard.” Enders also claims he has had difficulty finding a willing faculty advisor, primarily due to the need for a full-time advisor, and called the political science department “very liberal.”
Toward the end of the video, the officer gets agitated and threatens to arrest the students. He tells them:
“Why don’t you go talk to Student Life? But you can’t do it out here, otherwise I’m going to have to lock you up.”