UCSB Police Department Releases Professor-Protestor Incident Report

Mireille Miller-Young Said She Had ‘Moral Right’ to Take and Destroy Anti-Abortion Activists’ Sign

Tuesday, March 18, 2014
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The UC Santa Barbara Police Department has released its official report on the confrontation between Professor Mireille Miller-Young and a group of anti-abortion activists during which Miller-Young stole one of the activists’ signs, tussled with a teen girl trying to get it back, and then destroyed the sign with the help of her students.

In the report, Miller-Young, who is pregnant, said she was “triggered” by the graphic images of aborted fetuses on the large posters and said she felt the demonstrators didn’t have a right to be on the university’s campus, because their messages were upsetting to her and students. When asked by police if there had been a struggle between her and the activists when she took the poster, Miller-Young responded, “I’m stronger, so I was able to take the poster.”

Dr. Mireille Miller-Young
Click to enlarge photo

Dr. Mireille Miller-Young

The report was released with sections of it redacted and highlighted, and UCSB police have not responded to multiple phone calls and emails seeking comment over the last two weeks. The activists, part of a Christian ministry called Survivors of the Abortion Holocaust, say they are pursuing robbery and assault charges against Miller-Young, claiming one of them was injured by Miller-Young as they followed her to her office with their sign. The incident was first reported by The Santa Barbara Independent, and has since been broadcast by major media outlets — primarily conservative and Christian — across the country.

In the report, Miller-Young also stated she’d be willing to pay for the cost of the sign but would “hate it.” She said she was “mainly” responsible for its destruction in her office — which she called a “safe space” — because she was the only one with scissors at the time. Miller-Young admitted to authorities that she probably shouldn’t have taken the poster but said she did the “right thing” because she believed the group was violating university policy and infringing on her rights. She likened her actions to that of a “conscientious objector.”

Read the full report in the attached PDF. The District Attorney’s Office has received the filing but has so far not filed any charges. Miller-Young, an associate professor with UCSB’s Feminist Studies Department and a school faculty member since 2005, has secured an attorney, who said it wouldn’t be appropriate to comment on the specifics of an open case. UCSB officials would similarly not talk about the incident or any disciplinary action against Miller-Young.

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