Cal Poly student arrested for threat to diversity leader

December 5, 2015
Charles Raymond Bird

Charles Raymond Bird

University police arrested a Cal Poly student Friday for sending a death threat to the leader of the SLO Solidarity student group. Hundreds of students, faculty members and even Cal Poly President Jeffrey Armstrong joined SLO Solidarity in pro-diversity rallies following publication of the threat.

Charles Raymond Bird, 20, allegedly sent the death threat to Matt Klepfer Monday night by way of a Facebook profile with the name Mordecai Shekelburg. Klepfer is the president of the Cal Poly Queer Student Union in addition to serving as organizer for the SLO Solidarity group.

Klepfer and unnamed members of SLO Solidarity were the targets of the threat. The Facebook message also included a jab at Jews.

“The day of the rope will be coming soon, and you people will be the first to go. If you don’t like how it is in this town, you can all go somewhere else. We have a nice thing going here, and if you fuck with that you’re going to have some pretty angry young white man on your hands. Kike.”

Klepfer received the threat late Monday and reported it to police that night. University police investigated the threat for a few days and arrested Bird around noon Friday.

Officers booked Bird in San Luis Obispo County Jail on charges of felony threats and a hate crime. No other suspects are connected to the threat, investigators say.

Bird is no longer in custody, according to the county sheriff’s website.

Both UPD Cmdr. Brenda Trobaugh and Armstrong released statements following the arrest.

“The threat was made via social media, and the sender had gone to great lengths to disguise his identity,” Trobaugh said. “This made for a very complex investigation that required our officers to obtain multiple search warrants in order to gather evidence from several places.”

Armstrong said the death threat was reprehensible.

“I am pleased to report that our University Police Department has pursued this incident diligently and that we identified the person we believe to be responsible for this reprehensible action,” Armstrong said. “This arrest further reiterates that there is no place for hate at Cal Poly.”

On Thursday, Armstrong marched alongside SLO Solidarity in the “anti-hate” rally. SLO Solidarity is threatening Armstrong’s job if Cal Poly administrators do not deliver on a list of 41 demands made by the student group.

The group’s demands include mandatory women’s and gender studies or ethnic studies courses, gender-neutral on-campus living quarters, gender-neutral bathrooms and a dramatic increase in the hiring of tenure-line “faculty of color.” SLO Solidarity says it will demand a new administration if its demands are not met.


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indigo1955

I avoid being around people who are bigots and misogynists–or those who try to put down another’s political beliefs, socioeconomic status or anything else that is a by-product of the ego trying to gain one-upmanship in order that someone else (anyone else) comes out “lower” than the person who is trying to elevate themselves.


I enjoy the fact that these sorts of crimes are felony offenses. I believe promoting and perpetuating hate is like an encouraging an infectious pandemic. Hate and anger spread like a disease, and then they turn into something like San Bernadino–which is exactly why I avoid that sort of “I am better than ________” behavior. Truthfully, I am no better than anyone else.


Time for a paradigm shift–to a world that appreciates that all other people are created by the same maker as themselves and that we all basically want the same things: peace in our hearts, good health, gainful employment, a happy family, a wage decent enough to live well and raise a family, a safe community, etc..


We are lost in madness at this point in time. The madness of hatred. Hatred spawns pain, and hatred spawns violence.


joseywales

this coming from a goon who has a series called hate mail…..


shelworth

That’s a nice little world you’ve created in your mind, now open your eyes and look around at reality.


SLO_Johnny

Forcing students to spend thousands of dollars and spend hundreds of hours to attend classes that they don’t want to take doesn’t seem to be a very useful strategy.


slophocles

Whatever happened to the good ‘ol days, when Whites had their own colleges?


SLOBIRD

It’s called indoctrination of the young. The establishment wants to mae sure everyone understands, accepts and loves the behavior of every wacko doo in the pond. Me, I can love the person but there are behaviors I will never understand nor accept.


Inspite of my personal feelings regarding certain issues, under no circumstances do I believe that people should be threatened or abused for their legal rights. As long as people do not harm or abuse someone, just leave them alone. But when you put yourself out there, make ridiculous demands, and promote your lifestyle you have to know that people are coming for you!


jimmy_me

Let’s take a look at Cal Poly. If you’re in a protected class, Cal Poly goes out of its way to make sure that no one treats you badly. If you’re not in a protected class, the Cal Poly does not care about you or anything that may happen to you. Specifically, Cal Poly looks the other way when they know they can’t be sued for not fixing known problems. Cal Poly labels the same behavior “harassment” if you’re in a protected class and “unprofessional” if you’re not in a protected class. No one at Cal Poly has any protections against being the recipient of unprofessional behavior. This is a double standard; no one can deny this fact. Not extending the same protections to everyone is institutionalized unfairness. The Cal Poly environment would be significantly different if it were run by people who had compassion, understanding, and actual leadership abilities. Instead, everyone seems to somehow tolerate Cal Poly’s f**ked up culture.


slophocles

Cal Poly’s treatment of students is why so many of them go on to become sociopaths and engineers.


HarryMalone

Actually the phrase “day of the rope” comes from movie entitled ROLLERBOYS.


According to google:


Rollerboys’ mantra “the day of the Rope is coming” actually refers to a toxic chemical “Rope” being added to the mist drug which renders its (mostly non-Caucasian) abusers sterile, enabling the gang’sgenocidal goal.


There are plenty of people I would like to see ‘sterilized’ buy if you say it on Facebook you are subject to arrest.


And good luck with all the gender neutral demands as there won’t be any money left to meet those demands after the university pays out to the law suit they are about to lose!


HarryMalone

When did HATE become a crime?


SLO_Johnny

One can hat anyone or everyone as they prefer. But, sending threatening messages is a form of assault, a crime.


slophocles

1978


tomsquawk

it is extremely sad to see things get so polarized. on both sides. it seems like too many are getting into too many faces. i’m sorry but all this makes me a curmudgeon.


retiredpoliceofficer

I agree. This is constitutionally protected free speech, like it or not.


SLO_Johnny

Threatening speech is not protected because it is directed at certain individual(s). Plus, Cal Poly has a Code of Conduct that all students must abide by. My guess is that this guy has some mental health issues that are being brought out by the stress from course work.


joseywales

the founders said we have given you a republic if you can keep it….


slophocles

I know how you could prove it or disprove it. Start going up to white people and tell them “the day of the rope is coming” and see what happens. If you end up in the clink, we know it’s not about race.


retiredpoliceofficer

Agreed. This is constitutionally protected free speech. The case will be dismissed and Bird will have a good civil suit for false arrest.


Cathy S.

Although the words were abhorrent, where is any direct threat. The recipient isn’t even Jewish. It even went on warning if you mess with our good thing THEN there would be angry white men (paraphrasing). I am quite curious to see what happens. He is sure to be expelled from Cal Poly, deservedly so. Anyone out there who knows the law?


SLO_Johnny

If it had been simply posted up then there would be no criminality. But, it was sent to a particular person(s). That is very different as far as the law is concerned. The message is obviously meant to menace and to instill fear in the recipient. Either way, it’s a violation of the Student Code of Conduct and will lead to his expulsion from the University.