Trinity College, a small, private institution in Connecticut, closed on Wednesday following threats to the campus that appear to be tied to a faculty member’s recent online comments about the police, reports the Hartford Courant.
“Given the threats to campus and upon consultation with the President’s Cabinet, the decision has been made to close the college until further notice,” says a statement on the college’s website.
Johnny Eric Williams, an associate professor of sociology, had written messages on Facebook about racial issues and law enforcement in connection to an officer’s fatal shooting of a black woman in Seattle this week.
Mr. Williams told the newspaper that Campus Reform, a conservative website that specializes in coverage of higher education, had incorrectly tied his comments to a shooting last week at a congressional baseball practice.
The Campus Reform article stated that Mr. Williams had “seemingly endorsed” the idea that first responders at the baseball practice should have let the wounded die because they were white.
Mr. Williams told the newspaper that he had been misrepresented and that he had received death threats. “I’m calling for the death of a system, white supremacy, not the death of white people,” he said.
In a Facebook message attributed to Mr. Williams in the Campus Reform article, he did not mention the congressional shooting.
Another message attributed to Mr. Williams stated that he was fed up with violence toward “immigrants, Muslim, and sexual and racially oppressed people.”
As is often the case, the story spread quickly across right-leaning news outlets, including The Washington Times and The Blaze. Two state lawmakers in Connecticut also called on on Trinity’s president, Joanne Berger-Sweeney, to fire Mr. Williams.