Threats made against Mount Royal student who wanted Trump hat removed
Zoe Slusar has received hundreds of threatening messages, calls to her parents home
The woman who was filmed demanding a Mount Royal University student remove his 'Make America Great Again' hat has been subjected to hundreds of vile threats and disgusting messages since the video went viral.
"It's over 200 now, I've stopped looking," said Zoe Slusar.
"And somehow they got a hold of my parents phone number so they've been calling my parents house as well. I just can't believe this has become the issue, that I deserve to die."
Filmed earlier this week, the video shows MRU student Matt Linder wearing a red, 'Make America Great Again' hat being challenged by Slusar, who demands he take it off.
Linder refused, other students gathered and argument ensued over whether he was free to wear it, or it was emotionally triggering for others.
The messages, some of which Slusar supplied to CBC, implore her to commit suicide and threaten her with sexual assault and even death.
"There are endless messages just telling me to kill myself, calling me every name anyone could ever be called, insulting any of the groups that might classify themselves as minorities and saying they are lesser and should die with me," she said.
"And death threats, people saying they can't wait to kill me, they can't wait to have me not on the planet and terrible insults about people of colour and anyone of different sexual orientation. It's shocking."
The messages came from people in Canada and the U.S.
John Carpay, president of the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedom, said the threats meet criminal threshold.
"That's terrible, totally unjustified," he said.
"Death threats, or even a threat to harm somebody is criminal conduct and if the death threats are coming from anonymous sources or people with masked emails, then it becomes difficult for police to follow up on that. It's totally unacceptable."
Police issued a statement Friday saying they haven't received a complaint from Slusar but are aware of threatening voicemails being left for some staff members at MRU and are investigating.
Mount Royal University president Dr. David Docherty issued a statement Friday.
"I have seen the video and want to emphasize that I believe, both as an individual and as the president of Mount Royal University, freedom of speech is fundamental to post-secondary institutions and to society as a whole," he wrote.
"Both of these students are free to express their political opinions on campus, and university administrators will not interfere in their right to do so. Students can express differing opinions in a respectful way to increase understanding of each other's views. Universities play a critical role in society as places where students and other groups can share and listen to different perspectives in a respectful and peaceful way. We will continue to protect this freedom of expression."
Slusar said she hopes the debate garners thought around social issues.
"I would like people to look at the larger issue and show support for anyone who lives in the world where they might feel threatened because of the colour of their skin or their sexual orientation or their need to defend anyone in one of those minority groups," she said.
With files from Kate Adach