SANTA BARBARA, CA, March 24, 2014 (LifeSiteNews.com) – A professor of pornography and black studies at the University of California at Santa Barbara (UCSB) has been charged with robbery, battery and vandalism after stealing and destroying a pro-life banner and physically attacking a 16-year-old pro-life advocate at a campus event.
The attack occurred on March 4 during an abortion awareness event sponsored by Survivors of the Abortion Holocaust. In a cellphone video taken by alleged victim Thrin Short, Dr. Mireille Miller-Young can be seen grabbing a large sign containing images of abortion victims and carrying it off, all while taunting the pro-life activists.
“She’s a professor, and she steals signs? Don’t you know you’re stealing?” a young girl’s voice can be heard asking off-camera.
Miller-Young shouted back: “I may be a thief, but you’re a terrorist.”
Short’s older sister called the police, and the duo then chased the professor and several student accomplices through two buildings until they reached an elevator, at which point Miller-Young tried to block them from entering. When Short attempted to block the doors from closing with her foot, Miller-Young kicked her. Then the professor grabbed the teen’s arm and shoved her out of the elevator, leaving deep fingernail scratches on her forearm.
In an interview released by UCSB police and obtained by the Santa Barbara Independent newspaper, Miller-Young admitted to stealing and destroying the sign, but said she felt morally justified in doing so because she found the images of aborted babies “triggering.”
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“Miller-Young said that she found [the pro-life] literature and pictures disturbing,” wrote the interviewing officer. “Miller-Young said that she found this material offensive because she teaches about women’s ‘reproductive rights’ and is pregnant. She said an argument ensued about the graphic nature of these images.”
“Miller-Young said that she [sic] situation became ‘passionate’ and that other students in the area were ‘triggered’ in a negative way by the imagery,” the officer reported. “Miller-Young said that she and others began demanding that the images be taken down. Miller-Young said that the demonstrators refused. At which point, Miller-Young said that she ‘just grabbed it [the sign] from this girl’s hands.’ Asked if there had been a struggle, Miller-Young stated, ‘I’m stronger so I was able to take the poster.’”
Miller-Young told police that she and her student accomplices took the sign back to her office in the feminist studies department, where she destroyed it with scissors. She said she felt she had the right to do it because the images were so upsetting. She said one of the reasons she was so bothered by the images is that she is pregnant and “about to have the test for Down Syndrome,” which might cause her to choose abortion. “Why should they get to intervene in that?” she asked.
The officer said he sympathized with the fact that the professor “felt traumatized by the imagery” but told her that what she did was against the law. He also told her he was “worried about the example she had set for her undergraduate students.”
But Miller-Young countered that by destroying the “harmful” sign, she set a good example for her students, and likened herself to a “conscientious objector.”
The officer then explained to Miller-Young that she would be prosecuted for vandalism, battery and robbery.
The professor’s court date is set for April 4.
To read the police report, click here.
To contact the university, click here.