Aug. 17 2017 02:20 PM

THURSDAY, Aug. 17 — Concerned about safety, Michigan State University has denied a request to rent space to a white nationalist organization, possibly inviting a lawsuit.

“After consultation with law enforcement officials, Michigan State University has decided to deny the National Policy Institute’s request to rent space on campus to accommodate a speaker,” MSU said in a statement issued late today. “This decision was made due to significant concerns about public safety in the wake of the tragic violence in Charlottesville last weekend. While we remain firm in our commitment to freedom of expression, our first obligation is to the safety and security of our students and our community.”

The organization’s leader, Richard Spencer, has threatened to sue the University of Florida after it canceled a speech he was scheduled to give there. The organization is a white supremacist group from Arlington, Virginia.

Efforts to reach the group for comment on MSU’s decision were unsuccessful.