Last week, a University of Utah academic was arrested for making an apparent joke about a campus nuclear reactor and college football staff.
“If we don’t win now, I will blow up the nuclear reactor on campus,” the 21-year-old academic wrote on the unnamed social media app Yik Yak.
The academic was sent to the Salt Lake County Jail on suspicion of creating a terrorist risk. Her bail was reportedly set at $5,000 in the Salt Lake City Stand. She admitted to making the statement, but told police it was supposed to be a joke. A person who noticed the release checked it for anything suspicious and reported it to the police.
In response to Fox 13, University Police Chief Jason Hinojosa made it clear that detonating a reactor on campus would be unthinkable. Still, Hinojosa added that the academy “has a zero-tolerance approach to most of these threats”. Hinojosa observed that Utah’s legislation also does not distinguish between jokes or terrorist threats that have not been tried or have no potential.
Police added that the academic was on campus “with information about the nuclear reactor” and was “taking classes in the same building as the reactor”.
Glenn Shorten, director of the Academy’s nuclear engineering program, warned that “empty threats to electricity will be treated harshly, and individuals are encouraged to consider, at their core, that nuclear services are always approached with the utmost respect and safety.” critical. “
The Basis for Particular person Rights and Expression (FIRE), a nonprofit civil liberties group, sent a letter to the Salt Lake County district attorney, who found the arrests “reduce the seriousness of the real threat to the university.” FIRE acknowledged that the scholar’s status was “entirely protected by the first amendment” and asked district legal professionals not to undercut the price.
The reactor remains uninjured after getting their movement at the University of Utah.
“The reactor itself is protected,” Sjoden said, “and it provides a unique vehicle for cutting-edge analysis in nuclear engineering and expertise, and has been in Salt Lake City for 50 years.”
University of Utah scholar arrested for joking about nuclear reactor