Transcript: Investigator Martinez (UCPD) & Joseph Dozier Monday, December 7th

Joseph Dozier = JD Investigator Martinez = IM JD: Hello? IM: Is this Joseph Dozier? JD: Yes. How can I help you? IM: I'm Investigator Martinez with the UCPD and we're investigating a death threat you made JD: - excuse me? IM: - made against John Mearsheimer. JD: There must be some misunderstanding. I have nothing against Professor Mearsheimer and would never make such a threat. IM: Well, we have received information about the threat and are now in the process of investigating the case. We've been unable to get a hold of you this afternoon and would have launched a formal investigation if we hadn't gotten in touch with you. The number we got from the university for you is ***-***-****. Is this number I've just called ***-***-**** your cell phone? JD: Yes sir - the other one is for my dorm. I'm sorry but this week is finals and I've been busy working with a professor. In fact, she's right across from me right now. As I've noticed this number has repeatedly been calling, I finally picked up. I'm actually taking time out from a quiz to talk. How did you get my number, by the way? IM: Your friend, Mike Podhaizer, provided us with your number. He was worried about an official investigation being launched against you. Is it true that you wrote the following on Facebook yesterday at 11:18am? Dreamt that I assassinated John Mearsheimer for a secret Israeli organization - there was a hidden closet with Nazi paraphernalia. And is it true that Mike Podhaizer commented: I had the same exact dream, what the fuck? JD: First off, that's not the entire quote sir. I qualified it with an emoticon and a "haha" to insinuate it as a joke. Secondly, anyone who has access to my Facebook would be able to tell this was clearly a joke knowing me and reading the entire comment. Again, I can assure you that any serious claim that I want to kill John Mearsheimer is absolutely ludicrous. I woke up yesterday morning, was cracking jokes with my roommates, mentioned this joke, and posted it to Facebook. IM: Why would this joke be amusing?

JD: Well, there's a running joke among some students (especially friends of mine) that John Mearsheimer has a quite imposing German look - like you could just put a monocle on him and he'd fit right in alongside Bismarck. I'm sure you're aware of John Mearsheimer's work IM: - I am not. JD: Oh, well he's a highly praised IR professor who has written a popular book on the Israeli lobby, which is a very engaging and insightful read, and some critics have claimed his book is tantamount to antiSemitism. As much as one can have legitimate arguments against Mearsheimer's position at times, clearly this assertion limits beneficial discussion on the topic. So the joke contextually comes from Mearsheimer's look, work, and accusations against him. If anything, such an exaggerated fabrication that the comment contains goes against those who claim Mearsheimer is anti-Semitic characterizing his opposition in a bad light. IM: So you would say you disagree with John Mearsheimer politically? JD: How is this relevant to your inquiry? IM: It is my job to inquire into this case and note any potential motive for a death threat. JD: Again, in no way was this comment a death threat. It was a politically incorrect comment to provide amusement - especially to those who know John Mearsheimer. That said, I do not believe my political perspective should be a basis for violent action against another. This again is ludicrous. I've honestly not researched the Arab-Israeli conflict to have a confident, supported position. For this reason, I'm not strongly pro-Israel and I don't lean pro-Palestinian. There are varying opinions in the political RSO I am in, and there are varying opinions on the topic in the general political perspective I profess. All said, Mearsheimer's work should be taken seriously and I think people should read his book on the Israeli lobby. IM: Are you currently taking a course with John Mearsheimer? JD: No. IM: Have you taken a course with John Mearsheimer? JD: Yes. IM: Where again are you right now? JD: Again, in Classics across from my professor. IM: Have you said similar comments about John Mearsheimer in the past? JD: Nothing of this nature. Sometimes mentioned the monocle to my friends in class. IM: Have you made controversial comments in the past that we should be aware of?

JD: I feel that deeming comments "controversial" is so subjective. Have I sometimes said statements and made comments to inspire political debate on a topic - statements and comments some would say are politically incorrect? Yes, at times. But none of these comments would ever imply I want to kill or hurt someone. That's not me. I don't even think the comment in question implies that. IM: Well, the comment mentioned that you had a dream about this. When someone is having dreams of this nature, it makes sense for us to take interest. JD: Again, this was a joke. My friend, Mike Podhaizer, whom you contacted, commented he had the same dream recognizing the comment's facetious nature. IM: So did you have the dream? JD: I don't believe whether I actually had the dream or not matters. This was just a joke made between my friends - made up. That said, if I had the dream, I probably would have still commented about it as it's so ridiculous. I mean, do you really think I'm a part of some top secret Israeli organization? I can't even run a mile without stopping for a break. Mossad's desperate if they want an out-of-shape, non-Jew like me. IM: I've researched you a bit. You contribute to Public Radio, correct? JD: At times. I did a few recordings for them at the GOP Convention, for example. IM: And you have a weekly radio show in Chicago? JD: That's correct. IM: Have you made any comment that I should be aware of if I go through your past shows? Any similar statements to the one you posted to Facebook? JD: Listen...I'm no Rush Limbaugh or Glenn Beck. This is a simple radio show that my friend, who serves as a political counterpart, and I host. My job is just to provide a more rational perspective to the show. I usually keep all my statements to a factual instead of just entertaining level. Officer Martinez, I really think this is all ludicrous. I don't see how some of these questions are relevant. I didn't mean anything malicious by my comment at all. Also, I'm still in a meeting with my professor. I really need to go soon sir. IM: Well this comment suggests a serious threat that we must handle seriously. And so I need to conduct a thorough investigation. As I mentioned before, I would have had to have launched an official investigation which would include making a file for you if you hadn't picked up. I also am required to contact John Mearsheimer to inform him of the comment JD: - please don't do that. I plan on taking a course with Professor Mearsheimer next quarter and probably another one at a later point. I have great respect for the man and don't want him to think I have anything against him at all. In all honesty, if you contact John Mearsheimer and frame my comment as a potential death threat against him - that would just be unfair and completely untrue. I would be seriously concerned of how such a crazy accusation would affect our student-professor contact and grading.

IM: I'm supposed to file a report to my senior officer recommending what further action should be taken. It's our policy to contact any student, professor, or staff a comment like this was said about. I understand you're adamant that this was only meant as a joke and will include that in my report. You should be careful what you say online though. It's the UCPD's job to take note of comments like this one JD: - I'd like to know: did the UCPD single out this comment or a student on Facebook? I'm curious now. IM: We received a report about the comment and are now looking into it. JD: Was the report from a student? IM: I'm not able to tell you how we were notified about the comment JD: - I have no idea why it would be from a friend on Facebook. The only reason I could guess someone would take the time to report this is because they have some political beef against me and see an opportunity to get me in trouble. But, as I've said, my political views are more or less mute right now on the subject pertaining to Mearsheimer's writings. Now, I know I posted the comment to Twitter originally. Twitter is a public site but you've mentioned Facebook. Does the UCPD have access to student Facebook profiles? IM: It is the UCPD's job to monitor for potential comments that may be threatening to those who are a part of the university community. We're just doing our job when we investigate them. JD: Understood. I just wonder about the privacy of students whose social profiles are on sites like Facebook. IM: Well, as said, whether we are the ones who notice the comment or the comment is reported, it is our job and in the interest of the university to properly look into the comment and contact all parties involved. JD: Okay Officer Martinez, I really need to go soon but I really would appreciate it if you didn't report this to John Mearsheimer. Now knowing all the hoopla fostered by this one joke comment, I regret ever posting it and want to find some way to resolve this. I'm sorry for taking up the UCPD's time on this. I mean this is my final's week. I don't want to be dealing with this. I didn't mean anything mean by the comment. IM: Are you near a computer at all? JD: No sir. IM: If you could delete the comment within the next 30 minutes and then immediately call me back once it's deleted, I will then include in my report that you've done so and we'll not contact Professor Mearsheimer. JD: I honestly won't be near a computer until I'm back to my dorm in a couple hours.

IM: Okay, you have two hours to delete the comment. Call me immediately once you've done so. I'll then be able to get this report to my superior in time. Don't call this number though - it's to the station. Call me at ***-***-****. JD: Thank you for your understanding Officer Martinez. Will do so. IM: Talk to you soon then. JD: Bye.

IM: Hello. This is Investigator Martinez. JD: This is Joseph Dozier. The comment has been deleted. IM: On both Twitter and Facebook? JD: Yes sir. Again, I sincerely apologize about the comment if it was taken in any manner other than a joke. I just want this situation to be over so I can get back to studies. This has truly caught me off guard today. IM: Thank you for deleting the comments. I believe this is all the information I need from you. I will note in my report that you've been apologetic, took care of the comments, and desire for us not to contact John Mearsheimer due to your relationship with him as a recurring professor. JD: Can you assure me that Professor Mearsheimer will not be contacted? Please? IM: I will recommend that he's not and don't see why he should be now. This is up to my senior officer now. I will contact you if we need anything else. Don't hesitate to contact me as well. JD: Thank you Officer Martinez. Have a nice day. IM: You too.

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