Journalist suspended from Twitter after sharing video of gunman in University of Chicago shootout

Student activists are using the incident to push for the school to disband the campus police force, and left-wing activist lawyers are demanding that the officer is fired by university officials.


UPDATE: Foldi's account has since been restored. Twitter told Foldi in the notification: "Our support team has reviewed your account and it appears we made an error. We've determined there was no violation and have restored your account to full functionality. We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience and appreciate you taking the time to submit your appeal request to us."

Twitter locked journalist Matthew Foldi's account after he posted footage of a gunman running towards the University of Chicago's campus and reported on the subsequent police shootout that then sparked calls to defund the university's police.

"Twitter said the content is 'intimate media of someone without their express consent.' Wtf?" tweeted Washington Free Beacon executive editor Brent Scher.

Foldi, a Washington Free Beacon reporter with over 31,000 followers, began to post an extensive 25-tweet Twitter"> thread Monday, but the series only reached three posts before one of the initial tweets "violated the Twitter Rules."

The social media coverage included body camera footage from Jan. 18, released by the University of Chicago, of which Foldi uploaded 52 seconds of to Twitter.

"An armed gunman running towards @UChicago's campus was taken out by a heroic police officer, but lunatic students still want to #DefundThePolice," he tweeted, noting: "I lived on this block for two years! Crazy stuff."

Foldi's report for the Washington Free Beacon was linked throughout the Twitter thread, telling the tale of a hero cop who stopped an active shooter at the university, yet "defund the police" supporters are still vilifying the officer.

After shooting a crazed gunman who was trying to "commit suicide by cop," University of Chicago campus police officer Nicolas Twardak rushed to the assailant's aid, Foldi reported. Twardak was on patrol at the time when armed suspect Rhyseen Wilson was running down Woodlawn Avenue and heading towards campus "looking for a gunfight with police," Foldi explained.

The clip posted by Foldi showed the officer shouting, "Get on the ground!" After the wounded gunman went down, Twardak said to dispatch: "Send an ambulance! He's on the ground! He's hit at least two times, officer-involved shooting!"

Wilson had called 911 minutes before the shootout to declare that he wanted to die by cop and fired shots into the air while on the call, according to Foldi's report.

Foldi told The Post Millennial that he attempted to share publicly-uploaded security camera footage—separate from the publicly-available police officer body camera footage released by the University of Chicago—that showed the gunman shooting into the air as he rushed to campus, seconds before the shootout.

The story was published over the weekend by the Washington Free Beacon, yet Foldi's account was locked out after he tried to upload the surveillance camera video capturing when the gunman points his arm to the sky, firing upwards.

Citing the reason for Foldi's lockout, Twitter said that uploading the public footage is a violation of "our rules against posting or sharing privately produced/distributed intimate media of someone without their express consent."

"This is, of course, insane. Twitter is prioritizing the alleged privacy of a crazed gunman over the actual rights of journalists to inform the public about what is happening in their communities," Foldi told The Post Millennial via email.

Foldi pointed out how Twitter locked out the New York Post's account, following the bomshell Hunter Biden laptop report in October 2020, "for no reason and got off scot-free."

"Twitter's instinct to suspend journalists and news organizations that share accurate–but inconvenient–news as we head into a critical election is an incredibly troubling sign," Foldi said to The Post Millennial in an email statement.

Foldi stated that the influential Big Tech platform has been "emboldened to go after anyone and everyone that it feels violate The Narrative of the day."

"For every journalist wrongly suspended that we do hear about, there are hundreds of users wrongly thrown in Twitter jail that we don't hear about, who don't have the megaphone of a news organization to back them up," Foldi said.

Twitter's notification about the lockout contains zero information about how Foldi can appeal the violation claim, he said. Foldi found and submitted an online form that purports it's where Twitter users can submit appeals when suspended.

"Please note that repeated violations may lead to a permanent suspension of your account," Twitter said, instructing Foldi to proceed to Twitter to resolve the issue.

Before he became a Washington Free Beacon staff writer, Foldi, a University of Chicago graduate, worked as the rapid response director for the Congressional Leadership Fund, American Action Network, and Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner.

Foldi now writes for the investigation-intensive outlet, covering far-left activism on college campuses and skyrocketing crime rates across Democrat-majority cities.

Wilson had opened fire after spotting Twardak inside a university police vehicle. Twardak exited the car and took cover as Wilson advanced. Twardak returned fire and hit Wilson, who continued to pursue the officer. Twardak shot Wilson again and then sprinted across the street to the gunman's position as he called for an ambulance, according to the full four-minute, 43-second police POV video.

The suspect was hospitalized with five gunshot wound as a bail hearing was held on charges of attempted murder of a police officer, NBC Chicago reported.

Now, according to Foldi's reporting, student activists at the university are using the incident to push for the school to disband the campus police force, and left-wing activist lawyers are demanding that Twardak is fired by university officials.

Student group Care Not Cops wants the school to "Defund, Disarm, and Disband" its police department. In response to the mid-January shooting, the student organization stated that "[p]olice violence endangering the lives of our neighbors, friends, and community is being twisted into a positive outcome," Foldi reported.

"We reject this," the student-led group, founded in 2018 in response to another shooting that involved Twardak, said in response to the Jan. 18 incident in which Twardak stopped Wilson before he reached the unarmed student body, Foldi reported.

Twardak's case is the latest springboard for the radical Care Not Cops to mobilize the Defund the Police movement on campus and rail against "white supremacy."

"We affirm that ALL state violence is UNJUSTIFIABLE," it said. "Police violence is ONLY justifiable under the logic of white supremacy and racial capitalism."

Twardak is on mandatory leave, per standard procedure, and the school's statements following the shooting indicate that Twardak followed protocol.

During the prior incident also caught on bodycam, Twardak was responding to a student, Charles Thomas, who was wandering campus grounds while smashing windows of apartments and cars with an iron pipe. The footage shows Twardak telling Thomas multiple times to put down the weapon as the student charged.

Thomas, whose lawyer is using the Wilson-police shootout to renew local press scrutiny on the 2018 case, is now suing Twardak over the shooting from years ago.

"There's a reason why someone like this is a serial shooter," stated Thomas lawyer Steve Greenberg, who filed the lawsuit against Twardak and the university's police. "And it's not because he has some special 'spidey sense' that shootings require. It's because he's poorly trained and ill-equipped and shouldn't be on the job."


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