Report: UW Madison Newspaper Fires Student Who Criticized ‘Defund the Police’ Movement

Protesters rally Wednesday, June 3, 2020, in Phoenix, demanding that the Phoenix City Council defund the Phoenix Police Department. The protest is a result of the death of George Floyd, a black man who died after being restrained by Minneapolis police officers on May 25. (AP Photo/Matt York) defund the …
AP Photo/Matt York

The student newspaper at the University of Wisconsin-Madison reportedly fired a student this week after he submitted a column in which he pushed back against calls to “defund the police.” Student Tripp Grebe was swiftly removed from his role as a columnist at the paper after the Young America’s Foundation (YAF) questioned the university’s administration over the paper’s refusal to publish the column.

According to a report by the College Fix, student Tripp Grebe of the University of Wisconsin-Madison was removed from the student newspaper this week after he submitted a column that pushed back against recent calls to “defund the police.”

Editors initially claimed that Grebe’s column was rejected due to a lack of citations.  “It is of the utmost importance that our work is accurately and relevantly sourced,” the editors wrote in an email to Grebe, “your column was not, hence our decision not to publish this column.”

After the initial rejection, Grebe reached out to the YAF to share his experience. When administrators at the university received an email from the organization about the decision to reject the column, the newspaper editors sent Grebe a second email.

“Today we were contacted by the University Communications, who received an email from YAF asking for UW to comment on an incident at the Herald regarding your column on police funding. We are very disappointed with your recent behavior in light of these issues,” one of the paper’s editors wrote. “Because of your behavior after our refusal to publish, you can no longer write for the Herald.”

The column, which was published in its entirely this week by the College Fix, makes the case that officers perform at their best when their pay is increased.

“If we decide to pay our officers less, they have less incentive to do their job well,” Grebe wrote. “If we pay officers more, they have an incentive to perform at a high level in efforts to maintain a high paying job. The National Economic Bureau even found statistical evidence that when officers are paid more, their performance increases.”

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