Clemson University police arrested Jamie Reece Moore, 21, of Rock Hill on Wednesday and charged him with unlawful use of a telephone. Moore posted three “intimidating and harassing comments” on the anonymous social media app Yik Yak, according to an email sent out by Inside Clemson early Wednesday afternoon. The comments were related to the on-going sit-in at Sikes Hall by members of the Clemson community.
According to a warrant obtained by Greenville Online reporter Nathaniel Cary, Moore posted “What time is the lynch mob tomorrow? I got [sic] a couple hundred feet of rope” at 10:09 p.m. on April 17. Later, at 11:04 p.m. he posted “Let’s do to the Clemson protestors what Ohio did to the Kent State student protestors 40 years ago,” and then at 11:07 p.m., “Drive by at Sikes??” According to the warrant, Moore told an officer interviewing him that he made the comments to make people mad and to give them something to talk about. Concerned individuals sent screenshots of the posts in question to the police on April 18, and he was arrested on April 20.
The Clemson student directory lists Moore as a computer information systems major. A native of Rock Hill, South Carolina, he was released on a $470 recognizance bond the day of his arrest. A source who preferred to remain anonymous has also revealed to The Tiger that Moore was a member of the Student Patrol in 2014.
Moore was charged by the police with a misdemeanor for violating SC Code of Laws 16-17-0430, which deals with “unlawful communication.” The relevant section of the law is likely subsection A, subsection two, which states that it is unlawful for a person to “threaten in a telephonic communication or any other electronic means an unlawful act with the intent to coerce, intimidate or harass another person.” According to subsection B of the same law, anyone who violates any of the provisions of the law is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, must be fined not less than one hundred dollars nor more than five hundred dollars or imprisoned no more than thirty days.
Sophomore Sherman Jones, a core organizer of the Sikes sit-in was positive about the arrest.
"I'm ecstatic to see appropriate measures being taken against those who fight the promotion of diversity and inclusion on this campus but choose to promote hatred and dehumanization," Jones said. "I hope this justice continues.
Last year, Clemson briefly considered banning Yik Yak outright from its wireless network after students posted things that could be considered racially insensitive and potentially inflammatory. Popular on college campuses across the nation, the app enables users to engage in local conversation while remaining anonymous but will turn over location information to law enforcement upon request in the event of threats or harassment. Norwich University in Vermont and Utica College in New York have banned Yik Yak already, and the Student Government Association at Emory University in Georgia attempted to do so but recanted following student backlash. Whether
Clemson might consider another ban because of the arrest is yet to be seen.