Students Against Imperialism were performing a “direct action in solidarity with Mexico and Palestine” when UO adjunct instructor James Olmsted confronted them at the EMU amphitheater on March 14. Students videoed the confronation in which Olmstead says, “I am the dominant paradigm. If you want the country back. Start a fucking war and take it back. Get a gun. Shoot me. I’m right here.” The direct action was “a mock border checkpoint for the people of Palestine and all who are crossing the Mex/US borders,” according to the YouTube page the video was posted on.
Omlsted is filmed snatching and pocketing the phone of a female student filming the confrontation and pushing another male student who had briefly touched him while stepping in front of him — apparently to try to defuse the situation. Later in the video Olmsted talks with the male student, who offers to sit down and mediate. The audio can be heard in the recording below.
Here is the full video
According to his LinkedIn profile, in addition to being an adjunct at the UO law school, Olmsted “nationally recognized conservation easement attorney representing land trusts, landowners and developers in large-scale fee title and conservation easement acquisitions” and teaches a “course on Land Trust & Conservation Easement Law to second and third year law students, L.L.M. and MBA students.”
The police were called, according to the video, and one of the YouTube posts says charges were filed against Olmstead. EW has asked the UO campus police if any charges have been filed and and will update this post.
A letterhas been sent out by the law school:
Dear Oregon Law School Community, The University of Oregon School of Law has reassigned the teaching responsibilities of adjunct instructor James Olmsted to Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, Adell Amos. This is a personnel decision, and as such we are unable to discuss details of the situation at this time.
We are aware that Mr. Olmsted was involved in an incident with students on the afternoon of Thursday, March 14. As dean, I expect all members of the University of Oregon School of Law community to conduct themselves with the highest degree of professionalism and respect for public discourse, especially with those with whom they may disagree.
Philip H. Knight Dean
Kelly McIver, communications director & public information officer UO police, says they are working on the charges to be filed.
From Phil Weiler, assistant vice president, Office of Strategic Communications
ADJUNCT INSTRUCTOR ARRESTED BY UNIVERSITY OF OREGON POLICE DEPARTMENT
James L. Olmsted, 58, of Eugene, was arrested by University of Oregon Police on Thursday, March 14, 2013 at 2:41 p.m. at the Erb Memorial Union, near 13th Avenue and University Street on the UO campus.
Mr. Olmsted was cited in lieu of custody for second-degree theft and two counts of physical harassment. Olmsted was escorted off campus and issued a letter forbidding his return. An investigation is ongoing and other charges may be pending.
Olmsted has worked as an adjunct instructor for the University of Oregon Law School, which Friday reassigned his teaching duties to another faculty member.