CU-Boulder prof. arrested for highway blocking protest
A University of Colorado-Boulder (CU) professor was arrested on August 10th for impeding traffic on a primary highway in St. Louis County, Missouri, as part of a protest.
Dr. Hillary Potter, an Associate professor in the CU Department of Ethnic Studies, was in Missouri for research. However, her involvement in the “Moral Monday” blockage of Interstate 70 was “on her own dime.”
Dr. Potter told KMOV in a video interview that her academic research on the conditions in Ferguson, Mo., were properly sanctioned by the university. Her decision to participate in the I-70 blockade, she said, was for personal reasons.
Dr. Potter tweeted about her detainment with the St. Louis County Police Department. She called out SLCPD on social media, claiming that the department was lying about the welfare of detainees, which included herself.
— Hillary Potter (@DrHillaryPotter) August 12, 2015
However, St. Louis County Police stood by their actions while other individuals called out the department on social media.
— ShordeeDooWhop (@Nettaaaaaaaa) August 11, 2015
St. Louis County Police replied:
.@Nettaaaaaaaa I-70 protesters with misdeamesnor charges are not in jail. They were not held. Thx.
— St. Louis County PD (@stlcountypd) August 11, 2015
However, Dr. Potter told KMOV that she accepted the arrest.
“I was impeding traffic, and it wasn't because my car was broken down,” she said. “There's many people who suffer inconveniences much greater than being stopped in traffic. The point is to bring attention [to the cause].”
“I was observing what the protesters that were heavily involved in the movement have been doing,“ Potter told Campus Reform. “When I went to the meet up site [for the I-70 blockade], I decided, you know what, I’m just going to go ahead and do this for personal reasons.”
Potter’s academic work “covers the areas of critical analysis of the intersections of race, gender, and class as they relate to crime and violence.”
Potter also stated that she was not afraid to be looked upon differently as an educator; however, she has accepted that because of her involvement, she can be looked at as less of an expert in her field.
“We [people of color] are often looked at as if there is no way we could have done on our own or we were cheating,” Potter claims. “Ever since I started working on my PhD., I’ve always talked about these issues so I just add in what has happened in Ferguson. It has definitely become a topic politicians can’t shy away from.”
Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @mikemcgrady2
Editor's note: This article has been amended since its initial publication.