Brandeis student journalist given 'no contact order' after covering anti-cop tweets
Administrators at Brandeis University have issued a “no contact order” against student journalist Daniel Mael, who previously received death threats for publicly blasting a student’s tweets praising the NYPD cop killings, according to The Washington Free Beacon.
Administrators issued a “no contact order” between senior Mael and fellow Brandeis student Michael Piccione—forbidding them from being in the same location on campus and having any contact with one another. The order came after Piccione launched a campaign, calling for administrators to punish Mael for publicizing fellow student Khadijah Lynch’s anti-cop tirade.
“My movement on campus has been restricted because I wrote an article...And this punishment has been imposed without any due process.”
"I would be unable to identify Mr. Piccione if he walked in front of me,” Mael told Campus Reform. “As far as I know we have never spoken."
As previously reported by Campus Reform, Lynch took to Twitter to tout she has “no sympathy for the cops who were shot” and that she “hates this racist f***ing country.” Upon discovering her tweets Mael, a reporter for Truth Revolt, made Lynch’s hateful tweets go viral.
“Now, however, I am the subject of a nasty and menacing campus backlash,” wrote Mael in an editorial for Time Magazine. ‘Kill the messenger’ appears to be the ‘in thing’ on the Brandeis campus. Students rallied to have me disciplined. Why? Because I reported a story worthy of public attention.”
According to the Free Beacon, Piccione sent out a mass email to students on Dec. 22, following Mael’s article, with the subject line “Holding Daniel Mael accountable.” In the email, Piccione accused Mael for inciting hate, jeopardizing student’s safety on campus, and violating university policies.
“[Mael] must be aware of the impact that publishing such articles could have on other people’s safety, and it is important that he be held accountable for his actions,” read Piccione’s email to students.
That same day, students started a change.org petition in support of Lynch, where they accused Mael of committing libelous acts, hate speech, and cyber-bullying.
Just two days later, without a judicial proceeding or due process, Mael was notified of the “no contact order.”
“As shared when we spoke on the phone moments ago in relation to a No Contact Order, you are to have no contact with Michael Piccione in any way, shape or form,” Jamele Adams, Brandeis Dean of Students, wrote to Mael, in an email obtained by the Free Beacon. “Please be aware that the same applies to Michael and that he is not to have contact with you. This same information is being shared with him as well.”
“I was told [by Brandeis administrators] that I should consider changing my dorm room, and that it is a reasonable expectation that my car would be vandalized,” Mael wrote in Time. “They also recommended that I purchase mace at the local Walmart.”
According to the Free Beacon, Brandeis claims the order is not an attempt to suppress Mael’s right to free speech.
“Though we don’t comment on specific [no contact orders], we need to reiterate first and foremost that they are not a punitive action and do not impact a student’s record in any way,” Brandeis spokesman William Schaller, told the Free Beacon.
“NCOs are designed to address direct interactions between two parties when one or both parties is concerned about the impact of that interaction, or there are other safety concerns,” continued Schaller. “They are not designed to restrict speech.”
This is not the first time Mael has been targeted by the university. The Wall Street Journalreported on an earlier incident where Mael was accused of “harassment” because of controversy surrounding his pro-Israel views. The charges were later dismissed thanks to the help of legal counsel sought by Mael.
“[The] Brandeis student body provided a louder defense of Lynch’s right to condone the murder of New York City police officers, and her hatred of America, than my right to report on it,” Mael wrote in Time.
UPDATE: Mael received an email from the Brandeis Dean of Students Jamele Adams Thursday afternoon, alerting him that the “no contact order” would expire on Friday. This comes after The Washington Free Beacon initially reported on the university-enforced order, igniting outrage from Brandeis community members who felt the action suppressed free speech.
Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @MaggieLitCRO