University of Massachusetts at Amherst: Student Newspapers Stolen While Police Officer Watches


University of Massachusetts - Amherst

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Case Overview

When a student government leader was ridiculed in an issue of conservative campus newspaper The Minuteman, she decided to take matters into her own hands. The student, Vanessa Snow, was mocked by name as a leader of UMass Amherst's student group Student Bridges, a campus organization supported by the UMass Amherst Student Government Association, because of Student Bridges' finances. She violated the First Amendment right to free speech of the student group that publishes the newspaper by standing on the stack of newspapers, then grabbing them out of the hands of a student after she was required to stop standing on the stack. Meanwhile, the police officer who was on the scene watched and did nothing, but then filed a police report that does not match the video of the event. After FIRE intervened, Snow reportedly was held accountable, but it is unknown whether detective Lisa Kidwell faced disciplinary action.