Glenn Reynolds, a University of Tennessee law professor and creator of the Instapundit blog, was suspended from Twitter after stating that a motorist blocked in by protesters during the riots in Charlotte, North Carolina, should “run them down.”
Reynolds posted a video from a news source depicting multiple protesters on the interstate blocking and surrounding vehicles. Reynolds simply added, “Run them down.” His statement may have been good advice, as protesters in other areas of Charlotte were throwing large rocks from overpasses towards oncoming cars, endangering many drivers.
Following the tweet, Reynolds’ account was temporarily suspended. However, Reynolds tweeted later Thursday that his account had been reinstated.
The University of Tennessee says it is investigating the matter, issuing a statement in relation to Reynolds’ tweet. “The university is committed to academic freedom, freedom of speech, and diverse viewpoints, all of which are important for an institution of higher education and the free exchange of ideas,” wrote UT College of Law Dean Melanie D. Wilson. “My colleagues and I in the university’s leadership support peaceful disobedience and all forms of free speech, but we do not support violence or language that encourages violence.”
Reynolds, however, has issued his own statement on the matter. “Yes, that was my post,” he told the Knoxville News Sentinel. “It was brief, since it was Twitter, but blocking highways is dangerous and I don’t think people should stop for a mob, especially when it’s been violent.”
Reynolds received an automated message from Twitter offering to reinstate his account if he deleted the tweet.
Reynolds took this opportunity to gain access to his account once again. “I deleted the tweet so that I could respond on Twitter, but immediately linked to it on Twitchy so that no one would think that I was ‘airbrushing’ it,” Reynolds clarified.
“I’ve always been a supporter of free speech and peaceful protest. I fully support people protesting police actions, and I’ve been writing in support of greater accountability for police for years,” said Reynolds.
“But riots aren’t peaceful protest. And locking interstates and trapping people in their cars is not peaceful protest — it’s threatening and dangerous, especially against the background of people rioting, cops being injured, civilian-on-civilian shootings, and so on,” he explained. “I wouldn’t actually aim for people blocking the road, but I wouldn’t stop because I’d fear for my safety, as I think any reasonable person would.”
‘“Run them down’ perhaps didn’t capture this fully, but it’s Twitter, where character limits stand in the way of nuance,” he argued.
Lucas Nolan is a conservative who regularly contributes articles on censorship and free speech to Breitbart. Follow him on Twitter@LucasNolan_ or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org