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News Clips 04/19/2013
Allen West Facebook Comment 'Threatened' Protesters, FAU Student Claims In Complaint
Source: Huffington Post, 04/18/13
View Original Article
By Will Wrigley
A Florida Atlantic University student filed a complaint with campus police Wednesday, claiming that former Rep. Allen West (R-Fla.) had made a threatening statement against student protesters on his Facebook page, according to Raw Story.
Stephanie Rosendorf, a member of the Florida College Democrats at the Boca Raton-based school, wrote in her complaint that "Allen West is making me feel in danger at school."
West's wife, Angela Graham-West, is a member of the FAU board of trustees, which has been targeted by student groups over its decision to sell naming rights for the FAU football stadium to the private prison operator GEO Group. The company eventually pulled out of the deal amid the protests.
Allen West took to Facebook Wednesday morning to "warn" FAU students to end what he described as the "harassment" of his wife. He accused unnamed students of having "gone to my wife's office, stalked her at the FAU Board of Trustee meetings, and sent letters to her company headquarters." While West declared that "this is not a threat," he said that if the students continued their protests, they would "face me, the side of me that you do not want to see." He added, "This is your one and only advisory notice."
In Rosendorf's complaint, she wrote that she feels West's comments infringe upon the students' "First Amendment rights to peacefully assemble and express our grievances with the University." She said that she took West's statement as a threat and that "[t]hese days you never know if a threat on social media is to be taken lightly, and in this case it certainly should not be."
In an email to Raw Story, Rosendorf said that she "felt shocked and threatened to see Allen West's comments" and that students should be able to assemble without "fear of violent retaliation from Allen West or any of his like-minded followers." She also urged the university to "take extra steps" to ban the tea party favorite from campus.
This is not the first controversy to grow out of the FAU stadium-naming protests. In trying to drive out of a crowd surrounding her car, university President Mary Jane Saunders struck and slightly injured one student. Instead of apologizing for the incident, the chairman of FAU’s board of trustees, Anthony Barbar, said that the protesters owed Saunders an apology because she had "felt verbally accosted and feared for her safety." The father of the young woman who was hit by the car sent a letter to the students, faculty and trustees of the university -- in addition to the media -- insisting that Saunders should apologize for her actions.
West himself has repeatedly roiled the waters since losing his reelection bid last year. In January, he told Newsmax TV that the only real gun control is "your index finger," and he took to Twitter later that month to proclaim that women had no place on the field of combat.