Last week, it surfaced that a GW Law student was involved in an incident during the Occupy Wall Street Protests Soon after, the following video went viral, in which Robert Stephens shouts repeatedly, “this is the bank that took my parents’ home!”
This dramatic scene was spread so quickly that numerous media outlets have run the story without completely checking the facts.
The GW Hatchet, a student-run newspaper, covered the story as follows:
Police arrested a GW Law School student Saturday in New York during the Occupy Wall Street protests, an ongoing demonstration against what participants call corporate greed and corrupt political influence.
Robert Stephens, one of hundreds of demonstrators at the sit-ins, shouted that he would not “stand by and just watch” before New York Police Department cops arrested him.
However, The Hatchet and other media outlets have not mentioned the reality of the situation: Stephens is blatantly lying.
from The Blaze:
There’s just one problem: Robert Stephens’ story is (surprise!) completely bogus.
Phone inquiries into the county property records & taxpayer services office reveal that the Stephens family home is not and never has been in foreclosure, that property taxes had been paid in full this year and the remaining balance on their mortgage for the half-million dollar home is less than one year’s worth of tuition+fees at their son’s law school.
The nail in this empty protest‘s coffin is a delightful phone conversation I just had with Robert’s mother, Marquita, where she admitted Chase Bank indeed was not “taking” their home from them. Instead, due to a recent “reduction in income,” they’ve decided to hold a “short sale.”
When I asked Mrs. Stephens if she and her husband planned to stay in their suburban St. Paul, Minn., surroundings after the sale, she told me they weren’t too keen on the idea. The area is “a bit too conservative,” she said.
Will Frey and Zachary Gorelick blog at the GW Patriot. They are contributors to The College Fix.