Police Launch ‘Hate Crime’ Probe Into Bristol University Professor Accused of Antisemitic Lectures: Report
Police in Bristol have launched a probe into hateful comments allegedly made by university professor David Miller, The Bristol Tab reported Wednesday.
According to the report, Avon and Somerset Police confirmed that an investigation has been initiated into whether a “a hate crime or hate incident” took place during lectures at the University of Bristol.
“Our investigation is at an early stage and enquiries are ongoing to establish if any offenses have been committed. Our aim is to help everyone to feel safe and supported while studying in Bristol and we are working closely with the university at this time,” said Avon and Somerset Police, who encouraged the public to provide any relevant information.
Miller, a Professor of Political Sociology and member of the university’s School for Policy Studies, has been criticized by Jewish student groups and members of the British parliament for “inciting” antisemitism, promoting conspiracy theories, and calling for the “end” of Zionism. The police investigation comes after the University of Bristol announced last week that it opened an investigation into Miller’s comments.
According to The Bristol Tab, Miller is on “sick leave,” and as a result, many of his students are waiting for the results of their January assessments, while personal tutees have been reassigned to other staff members. The university told the outlet that it was “seeking clarification” on the police move, and would cooperate in any investigation.
In the House of Lords, Lord Parkinson on Wednesday accused Miller of expressing “some ill-founded and reprehensible views” and said that the UK government “wholeheartedly rejects” them. Bristol University “could do more to make its condemnation of [his] conduct clear to current and future students,” he said.
Also speaking at the House of Lords session Lord Dudley said that “Miller does not have the right to attack Jewish students as part of an Israel ‘lobby’ group, which makes Arab and Muslim students unsafe.” Miller’s behavior has subjected Jewish students to “harassment and abuse,” Dudley added.
“What makes this case concerning is Professor Miller’s comments about his own students suggesting that their disagreement with his views is because they are political pawns of a foreign government or part of a Zionist enemy which has no place in any society,” Parkinson said in his response.
“Jewish students in Bristol are so grateful for the support shown by those in the House of Lords who spoke out against Prof. Miller today,” the Bristol Jewish Society wrote on Twitter. “We won’t stop in our efforts until we get #HateOffCampus.”