Yale

Back on January 26, The College Fix reported on a situation involving New York Times columnist Charles Blow’s son and Yale University.

Blow’s son Tahj appeared to match the description of a burglar who had been reported in the area. A Yale police officer stopped Tahj at gunpoint, and the department detained him briefly.

The elder Blow took to Twitter to lambaste the Yale PD, stating, among other things, that he has “NO PATIENCE for ppl trying to convince me that the fear these young blk men feel isn’t real.”

Blow neglected to note that the officer who detained his son is black. The head of the Yale PD is also black.

Now, the Yale Police Benevolent Association, “an independent union [that] represents YPD officers,” is dismayed at the Yale administration’s response, claiming “it created a presumption of guilt.”

The Yale Daily News reports:

References to incidences where unarmed men were killed by police officers was disproportional, and had “no place” in a discussion of a simple burglary investigation, the [YPBA] statement said.

Defending the actions of the police officer who drew his weapon, the YPBA argued that the administration’s reaction “has a chilling effect on officer safety and may yield a consequence that results in the death or serious physical injury of one of our officers.”

“We completely support our officer in his actions,” a statement from the YPBA read. “Yale needs to unequivocally support its police officers when their actions are reasonable and appropriate; not sacrifice them for political expediency.”

The statement further noted that the officer’s decision to draw his gun was in fact in line with the “reasonable officer standard of review.” The University’s investigation into the event, it suggested, should therefore find the officer’s actions justified.

In condemning the administration’s reaction, the YPBA’s statement argued that the University responded to the incident in the way it did because of public optics.

The YPBA statement also asked if Yale would have reacted similarly had Tahj Blow not been “the son of an influential newspaper columnist and television commentator.”

Read the full article.

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New York Times opinion columnist Charles Blow is fuming (his word) that his son, a junior chemistry major at Yale, was stopped at gunpoint by a campus cop.

Apparently Blow’s son matched the description of a burglary suspect, and Yale officers “responded to emergency calls from undergraduates in Trumbull College” stating that an individual had gained entrance “under false pretenses, pretending to be looking for someone.”

Yale released a statement on the incident, noting among things that the suspect was “a tall, African-American, college-aged student wearing a black jacket and a red and white hat” … and that “was the description that Yale police used as they converged on Trumbull and attempted to track down the suspect.”

Blow’s son “was briefly detained and released by Yale police.” The actual suspect was eventually caught later that evening.

The columnist took to Twitter to vent his anger (via Twitchy):


Numerous commenters at Twitchy and on Twitter say Blow is way overreacting. Is the fact that his son attends an Ivy League school supposed to insulate the undergrad from police doing their job?

In my late teens a friend and I were approached by a cop car speeding down the street. Right in front of my house the police locked up their brakes, and a woman cop got out of the passenger side yelling at us to “freeze.” She didn’t draw her gun, but had her hand on it in its holster.

It seemed we matched the description of a couple assailants who had beat up and robbed some young kids.

We were very cooperative. Once they checked us out and verified where we had been, they thanked us for our time. There was no real apology, other than something like “sorry for taking so long on this.”

Read the full story.

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This past Monday, over one hundred University of Pennsylvania students marched through Philadelphia to protest the grand jury decision in the shooting death of Ferguson, Missouri’s Michael Brown:

Protesters walked in fierce solidarity, responding to the leaders’ chants: “No justice, no peace. No racist police.”
“I just don’t want my son, the child of an Ivy League graduate, to walk down the street in fear for his life,” a student who preferred to remain anonymous said at the protest.

This was along the lines of what New York City mayor Bill De Blasio said in reaction to the non-indictment of the officer who used a “chokehold” on (black) victim Eric Garner:

Mr. de Blasio told an audience that he worried over the years if his son Dante would be safe at night before adding, “And not just from some of the painful realities of crime and violence in some of our neighborhoods but safe from the very people they want to have faith in as their protectors.”

Students at other Ivy League schools have expressed similar sentiments:

“I’m scared to go outside,” [Brianna] Alston said. “This is a real fearful situation for the black community.” (Columbia University)

“Business as usual can’t continue, our frivolities can’t continue while people are dying without reason and impunity,” [Stephanie] Amoako said. (Columbia)

“My brother is turning 20 next month, which means that he is solidifying his presence in a demographic of young black men between the ages of 19-25 in the United States who are disproportionately targeted by police brutality,” Karleh Wilson ’16 explained. “I worry about [my brother’s] safety under the hands of the law. My brother should feel safe among the presence of policemen, but he does not, and this is the same for all men of color his age in America.” (Yale)

A student at Harvard held a placard that read “This is Genocide.”

Nadia May recited a poem about “how she will mother her future children intertwined with commentary on racism and police brutality.” (Cornell)

A frequent refrain heard from “progressives” and Democrats — usually in snide rebuttal to conservatives/Republicans regarding global warming climate change — is that they’re “the party of science,” and the “believers in facts.”

So, is it really a fact that Ms. Alston and the others should be “scared to go outside” for fear of being killed by a police officer?

Compared to many other things out there in society, the answer is “hardly.”

Fox News’s Bill O’Reilly this past week devoted a “Talking Points” segment to this issue. Here is what he noted, with sources from the Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice, the CDC, the FBI and the Census Bureau:

  • Police killings of blacks down 70% in last 50 years
  • In 2012, 123 blacks were killed by police with a gun
  • In 2012, 326 whites were killed with a gun
  • In 2013, blacks committed 5,375 murders
  • In 2013, whites committed 4,396 murders
  • Whites are 63% of the population blacks are 13%

To be fair, some have taken issue with these statistics. The Tampa Bay Times’ PunditFact site (a subsidiary of PolitiFact) argues that some of the figures are “incomplete” because, for example (in the CDC’s case), “coroners and physicians are under no obligation to detail police involvement in the deaths that they encounter.”

black-white-DryHundredFear.flickrHowever, ironically, PunditFact notes that the “whites killed by police figure” is artificially inflated because it includes Hispanics. But … weren’t we informed by the mainstream media in the Trayvon Martin/George Zimmerman incident that Zimmerman was, in fact, a “white Hispanic”?? So … which is it? Do we refer to “white Hispanics” as “white” … or do we keep Hispanics as a separate category?

Then there is The Daily Dot which claims to have “debunked” O’Reilly’s “argument about racism in American policing”:

Secondly, what O’Reilly’s statistics show—but what O’Reilly leaves unsaid—is that black people are killed at disproportionately higher rates than white people by police officers. African Americans are 14 percent of the population but 30 percent of the police-shooting deaths. This is double the rate that one might expect from O’Reilly’s fantasy world in which race is not a factor.

The numbers get even grimmer when narrowed down a bit. Police kill young black men at a rate 21 times higher than the equivalent rate for young white men.

Which, unfortunately, completely omits any reference to vastly disproportionate black murder rate noted above by O’Reilly. It is quite disingenuous to expect “proportionate representation” in law enforcement killings when the (race-based) crime rate isn’t even close to being such.

The mainstream media also doesn’t help matters by omitting virtually identical types of stories … but where the races are reversed. For instance, a Trayvon Martin-like tale involved a (black) man named Roderick Scott. Scott shot and killed seventeen year-old Christopher Cervini, who was white. Cervini and two others were stealing from cars when Scott confronted them. Scott pulled out a gun and told the boys to freeze until police arrived. However, Cervini apparently charged Scott, who then opened fire, killing the teen.

After a trial, Scott was found “not guilty” of manslaughter.

Some of the comments afterwards by Cervini’s family sound awfully familiar:

Cervini’s family members say justice wasn’t served. They say Christopher was murdered in cold blood, that he’d never been in trouble and Scott acted as judge, jury and executioner.

“The message is that we can all go out and get guns and feel anybody that we feel is threatening us and lie about the fact,” said Jim Cervini, Christopher’s father. “My son never threatened anybody. He was a gentle child, his nature was gentle, he was a good person and he was never, ever arrested for anything, and has never been in trouble. He was 16 years and four months old, and he was slaughtered.”

With regards to the Michael Brown case, two years ago a black police officer shot and killed unarmed white teenager Gilbert Collar in Mobile, Alabama. But, “despite public pressure for an indictment, a Mobile County grand jury refused to bring charges against Officer [Trevis] Austin, concluding that the officer acted in self-defense.”

Collar was under the influence of an hallucinogen when taken into custody. He was 5’7″ and weighed a mere 135 pounds. Once at the police station, Collar “began banging on the outside windows, then walked in the general direction of Officer Austin, who had his gun drawn.”

Austin shot Collar in the chest, killing him.

You can argue about the reasons we didn’t hear about these stories; however, many would say it’s because it doesn’t fit the (usual) media narrative.

The “party of science and facts” does itself, and everyone else, a big disservice by continuing to stand by a discredited narrative. Once the facts — science — came forth from the Ferguson grand jury that Michael Brown did not, in fact, have his hands up, supporters promptly stated “it doesn’t matter.”

Recently, DC Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton repeated as much. When asked if she had “read all the evidence” in the Brown case, she replied “I did not, and that is not a concern.”

Further, will the mainstream media heavily cover what Erica Garner said (her father being the aforementioned New York City suspect placed in a chokehold who later died as a result, according to a coroner) this week about her father’s death — that it wasn’t a racial matter? That it was more about general police aggression and misuse of tactics?

Any rational and reasonably intelligent American is cognizant of the historic plight of African-Americans. It is certainly understandable that many in that community harbor a degree of mistrust of police; it wasn’t all that long ago when the law made it a crime for black Americans to even sit at the same lunch counter as whites.

But it does no American — black, white, brown — any good to promote falsehoods which serve to shred the entire American community asunder.

We have competent legal procedures in place to rectify a miscarriage of justice — led by the top law enforcement officer in the land, Eric Holder, a black man. The most recent of these unfortunate police killings  (that of  Eric Garner) appears to be a case where the feds can make a compelling case in the typical follow-up investigation.

Dave Huber is an assistant editor of  The College Fix. (@ColossusRhodey)

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The Yale Daily News has a must-read deep dive into one sexual-assault investigation at the school, using documents handed over by the accusing student that are supposed to remain confidential.

Regular College Fix readers will notice that it sounds an awful lot like Occidental College’s botched investigation that’s now the subject of a lawsuit against the school by the accused student.

The main difference is that Yale’s sexual-misconduct committee (also the subject of criticism from former Yale student Patrick Witt in a recent op-ed) sided with the accused student – but the final decision must come from a Yale College dean, whom the Daily News says has missed his “timeline” this week for ruling in the case.

A few pertinent points:

  • The accusing student waited 13 months to file a complaint
  • The parties had a previous sexual relationship they had promised to end, but the male still had “strong feelings” for her
  • “Anticipating that she would become more intoxicated,” the accuser kept texting the accused
  • “I mean … sex is awesome, and I might try to get it from you. But I shouldn’t. I don’t think,” she wrote
  • “[T]he male student interpreted the female student’s texts as ‘ambivalence,’ not an explicit refusal of a sexual encounter”
  • Though she described herself as “hammered” earlier in the evening, the male said she was “enthusiastic” and they had sex twice that night and once in the morning
  • She didn’t recall sending most of the texts

And in another strong parallel to the Occidental case:

While the complainant said she was upset with the events of March 22, she did not initially consider the encounter to be an instance of sexual misconduct. A few days later, however, the complainant was surprised when her friends said the respondent’s actions constituted rape because her level of intoxication rendered her unable to give consent. …

[Thirteen months later, over] the course of the next few days, the female student met with a SHARE counselor and Pamela Schirmeister, the Title IX coordinator for Yale College at the time.

She decided to file a formal complaint.

While the paper rightly focuses on Yale’s failure to meet its own stated timelines for investigation, what really stands out is the assigned fact-finder’s correct analysis of the pertinent question:

“It is undisputed that she was highly intoxicated that night,” Berkman wrote. “The more complex and central question for this committee is whether this level of intoxication caused [her] to ‘lack the ability to make or act on considered decisions to engage in sexual activity.’”

The sexual-misconduct committee came to similar conclusions, and the accusing student said she was “floored” they sided with the accused.

Let’s see if the top Yale official agrees – eventually.

Read the Daily News story.

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It’s not just so-called survivors who are speaking out by name about their alleged assaults – it’s those accused of assault.

Former Yale quarterback Patrick Witt, now a Harvard law student, shared his story about how an “informal complaint” by an ex-girlfriend “nearly ruined” his life, in the Boston Globe – and why Harvard’s new policy (blasted by its own law faculty) is so dangerous:

[Yale’s then-newly-created University-Wide Committee on Sexual Misconduct] summoned me to appear and styled the meeting as a form of mediation. Its chairman, a professor with no prior experience handling dispute resolution, told me that I could have a faculty adviser present but no lawyer, and instructed me to avoid my accuser, who, by that point, I had neither seen nor spoken to in weeks. The committee imposed an “expectation of confidentiality” on me so as to prevent any form of “retaliation” against my accuser.

I would say more about what the accusation itself entailed if indeed I had such information. Under the informal complaint process, specific accusations are not disclosed to the accused, no fact-finding takes place, and no record is taken of the alleged misconduct. For the committee to issue an informal complaint, an accuser need only bring an accusation that, if substantiated, would constitute a violation of university policy concerning sexual misconduct. The informal “process” begins and ends at the point of accusation; the truth of the claim is immaterial.

He goes on to state that Yale pretty much lied to him about the consequences of this “informal complaint” – Witt’s post-graduation job offer was rescinded and his potential Rhodes Scholarship became untenable following an “anonymous tip”:

I cannot begin to describe how exasperatingly difficult it has been to try to explain to people what an informal complaint is and how there was never any evidence — nor any effort made to discover evidence — to substantiate the claim made by my accuser. My summer employer and the NFL certainly couldn’t understand it, and the media flat out didn’t care — the words “informal complaint” were all that was needed to establish my guilt in their eyes.

Read his full Globe op-ed.

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Global women’s rights activist Ayaan Hirsi Ali, who was  rejected by Brandeis University as a graduation speaker last May because of her criticism of Islam – which is certainly justified after she suffered female genital mutilation and a forced marriage at the hands of that religion – is again under fire from self righteous campus activists.

Apparently any criticism of Islam is immediately dubbed “hate speech.”

Now she is set to give a talk at Yale University on Monday, invited after the brouhaha at Brandeis by student conservatives at Yale who are interested in hearing her out.

Predictably, the Muslim student group at Yale and its many politically correct supporters have decried the visit and even tried to force the conservative students to limit what Hirsi Ali could talk about, or at the very least have a pro-Muslim speaker on hand who could offer counterpoints.

Really, do Muslim campus guest speakers have to have Jews at all their talks for counterpoints?

At any rate, the controversy has been covered by the Yale Daily News, National Review and other news outlets, and perhaps the best part of these reports are not the articles themselves, but the quips at the end in the comments section. Without further ado, here’s a highlight reel:

Ayaan Hirsi Ali and her stupid white male Christian privilege.

No surprise that the Muslim student groups are attacking a person who has spoken out against female genital mutilation.

Good lord — this is Yale. I was under the impression that this was an institution where we chose to embrace free speech. Though many students on this campus may disagree with Hirsi Ali’s views on Islam, I would like to believe that as a Harvard fellow, award-winning journalist, and former Member of Parliament, we might all be able to learn something from her.

Once you begin to realize that the Muslim Students Association was set up by the Muslim Brotherhood, then this whole mess makes more sense.

Never, never, never give as much as a millimetre to the totalitarian ideology that is truly Islam.

What’s hilarious is that these supposed “best and brightest” fail to see the hypocrisy in their calling for censorship while saying they’re upholding free speech and diversity of opinion.

The Muslim group wants Hirsi Ali to “…speak only to her personal experiences …” Fine. She could still enlighten with personal experience of genital mutilation and death threats.

The Yale Buckley Program members, who invited Hirsi Ali, have pledged to allow her to speak – despite the protest and without a counterpoint speaker. Score one for Lux et Veritas.

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