Today @ lunch: Student Response to Sean Bell verdict

For those of you who haven’t heard, there has been tremendous controversy surrounding the recent acquittal of the three cops involved in the death of Sean Bell, an innocent black man who was to be married the next day – read the NYTimes summary of the events to get caught up. The incident has been labeled an act of police brutality and an act of racism by many activists.

Stephanie Quainoo ’10 sends us some info about a Wesleyan student reaction, to take place tomorrow during lunchtime:

On Monday, May 5, 2008 at 12 pm we will be taking a course of action in response to the Sean Bell verdict, its public reception, and its relation to past racist events that have occurred on campus with Public Safety, Middletown Police, the Ride, and the student body. This event will occur at Usdan and we encourage everyone to participate! We need people to help put up fliers, hand out info cards and most importantly, filling up the main staircase to the Marketplace at noon! After our protest at Usdan, we will be marching to the Public Safety office to bring attention to our demands. Your physical presence is paramount to our success, so if you are interested, please wear all black and join us tomorrow!

If you have any questions, join the facebook group here (http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=17019604531) and message one of the admins.

What: Student reaction to the acquittal of the cops who killed Sean Bell
When: Monday (TODAY) at noon
Where: Usdan

72 thoughts on “Today @ lunch: Student Response to Sean Bell verdict

  1. stephanie

    7:49 – I definitely agree that the way the p-safe officers were linked to the sean bell case was problematic, because it could have been taken in so many ways. Those posters were probably done by one person, and in the future I’m sure we will try harder to avoid such hurtful and unclear targeted statements, but we were only addressing instances of institutionalized bias as it relates to Sean Bell’s case how it could really happen in any capacity, as seen in the past incidents occurring in the Middletown community.And to 12:14, this should answer your concern: Not the only way, but one of the most effective, please read on: Alot of times when we advertise these events, it becomes a forum with the usual suspects attending or hearing about it, no matter how frequently or aggressively it’s advertised. I feel like the protest today was a good way to have a more visual marker that makes it evident that people are actually thinking about this issue, rather than gathering in closed quarters discussing it. I spoke to several people who raised the same point about our protest being a very hostile action, and to an extent I agree with you. However, it should be said that our protest in Usdan produced more dialog among our peers than the forum did, and that to me is a good outcome. I understand people resent us forcing the issue upon them, but it’s so easy to ignore a banner than to ignore an entire mass of students. Sometimes it takes a bit of hostility to have a more productive dialog. However, I’m sure we will try to find alternative ways to more effectively raise awareness about this issue, but you must understand, we exhaust all resources with the advertising and they don’t yield the same results as the protest.

  2. stephanie

    7:49 – I definitely agree that the way the p-safe officers were linked to the sean bell case was problematic, because it could have been taken in so many ways. Those posters were probably done by one person, and in the future I’m sure we will try harder to avoid such hurtful and unclear targeted statements, but we were only addressing instances of institutionalized bias as it relates to Sean Bell’s case how it could really happen in any capacity, as seen in the past incidents occurring in the Middletown community.

    And to 12:14, this should answer your concern: Not the only way, but one of the most effective, please read on: Alot of times when we advertise these events, it becomes a forum with the usual suspects attending or hearing about it, no matter how frequently or aggressively it’s advertised. I feel like the protest today was a good way to have a more visual marker that makes it evident that people are actually thinking about this issue, rather than gathering in closed quarters discussing it. I spoke to several people who raised the same point about our protest being a very hostile action, and to an extent I agree with you. However, it should be said that our protest in Usdan produced more dialog among our peers than the forum did, and that to me is a good outcome. I understand people resent us forcing the issue upon them, but it’s so easy to ignore a banner than to ignore an entire mass of students. Sometimes it takes a bit of hostility to have a more productive dialog. However, I’m sure we will try to find alternative ways to more effectively raise awareness about this issue, but you must understand, we exhaust all resources with the advertising and they don’t yield the same results as the protest.

  3. Anonymous

    is that really the only way to expose your issue to the student body?wesleyan should have some sort of forum for open expression. wait..

  4. Anonymous

    is that really the only way to expose your issue to the student body?

    wesleyan should have some sort of forum for open expression. wait..

  5. Anonymous

    7:49 here:You didn’t come off that way and I don’t have a problem with any of your posts, Stephanie. Like I said, I think the aim is good, but targeting PSafe in the midst of the Sean Bell hooplah indirectly links them to it, which is overblown, superfluous and rude. Not to mention it implicates all of them when the e-mails the campus center signs I saw depicting were likely done by one person, or were at least passing word along.I don’t think PSafe is beyond criticism, but it should be in reaction to something instead of digging up old instances in the heat of another moment

  6. Anonymous

    7:49 here:
    You didn’t come off that way and I don’t have a problem with any of your posts, Stephanie. Like I said, I think the aim is good, but targeting PSafe in the midst of the Sean Bell hooplah indirectly links them to it, which is overblown, superfluous and rude. Not to mention it implicates all of them when the e-mails the campus center signs I saw depicting were likely done by one person, or were at least passing word along.

    I don’t think PSafe is beyond criticism, but it should be in reaction to something instead of digging up old instances in the heat of another moment

  7. stephanie

    9:47 & 7:49: no no no. man, I’m apologize if I’m coming off that way. No one is perfect no matter what their race/creed, and not every incident involving a person of color is a race crime. I’m not not calling p-safe murderers and most of the officers I have worked with as an RA have been pretty nice to me and helped me out. There are certain people that will use any opportunity to call any incident a racist one, but we’re all coming with good intentions, believe me. I personally don’t demonize them and we aren’t trying to say the majority of officers are racist or bigoted. Yet, we are trying to bring to light to the student body that there are racist and sexist incidents that occur on campus that are perpetrated by certain law enforcement officers and other people of authority, like in the greater sphere of our society. I don’t see a problem with that, although there are various methods we can use that provide advantages and certain responses, like this method did today. Acknowledge that racial biases exist in this society and it’s one thing to apprehend someone for violating a crime, but it’s quite another to use excessive and unnecessary force to apprehend that person, especially if it seems as though that action was related in some significant way to the race/ethnic of that person: an important point of our protest. Yes, some people who are inconvenienced will not want to take part for many reasons, but that’s not who we were reaching out to. We were reaching out to people who had not known about the case and were interested in helping us solve the same racial tensions that exist in our community to again, make Wesleyan a safe community for all. If you disagree with us, you can help us increase dialog by providing us with constructive criticisms to improve/positively change our tactics (which one person has done), instead of just pointing out things you found wrong, or help in a small way by engaging people in a discussion that you feel comfortable doing. That is really the only way things will change. I am sorry you were upset, but this gave us the most exposure to the student body, and that’s not that much of a bad thing is it? We’re working on a more constructive way of address those issues on campus without being perceived as confrontational, but you have to agree that, by virtue of us being here discussing this, our protest was effective in increasing some sort of dialog. Be well,Stephanie

  8. stephanie

    9:47 & 7:49: no no no. man, I’m apologize if I’m coming off that way. No one is perfect no matter what their race/creed, and not every incident involving a person of color is a race crime. I’m not not calling p-safe murderers and most of the officers I have worked with as an RA have been pretty nice to me and helped me out. There are certain people that will use any opportunity to call any incident a racist one, but we’re all coming with good intentions, believe me. I personally don’t demonize them and we aren’t trying to say the majority of officers are racist or bigoted. Yet, we are trying to bring to light to the student body that there are racist and sexist incidents that occur on campus that are perpetrated by certain law enforcement officers and other people of authority, like in the greater sphere of our society. I don’t see a problem with that, although there are various methods we can use that provide advantages and certain responses, like this method did today. Acknowledge that racial biases exist in this society and it’s one thing to apprehend someone for violating a crime, but it’s quite another to use excessive and unnecessary force to apprehend that person, especially if it seems as though that action was related in some significant way to the race/ethnic of that person: an important point of our protest.
    Yes, some people who are inconvenienced will not want to take part for many reasons, but that’s not who we were reaching out to. We were reaching out to people who had not known about the case and were interested in helping us solve the same racial tensions that exist in our community to again, make Wesleyan a safe community for all. If you disagree with us, you can help us increase dialog by providing us with constructive criticisms to improve/positively change our tactics (which one person has done), instead of just pointing out things you found wrong, or help in a small way by engaging people in a discussion that you feel comfortable doing. That is really the only way things will change. I am sorry you were upset, but this gave us the most exposure to the student body, and that’s not that much of a bad thing is it? We’re working on a more constructive way of address those issues on campus without being perceived as confrontational, but you have to agree that, by virtue of us being here discussing this, our protest was effective in increasing some sort of dialog.
    Be well,
    Stephanie

  9. Anonymous

    it may also be that people who were inconvenienced didnt want to enter into any dialogues about the issue. forcing it on everyone is just wrong. creating a dialogue is most effective when people are willing to enter it. I have no interest whatsoever in talking about the sean bell case… it’s he said he said, and no one can prove it either way. you can argue all you want about racial profiling, but isn’t that issue raised whenever a person of color is arrested/killed/picked out? not every person of color is innocent, just like with every other race/creed, etc.I was very disappoined and upset about the way the protest was done today.

  10. Anonymous

    it may also be that people who were inconvenienced didnt want to enter into any dialogues about the issue. forcing it on everyone is just wrong. creating a dialogue is most effective when people are willing to enter it. I have no interest whatsoever in talking about the sean bell case… it’s he said he said, and no one can prove it either way.

    you can argue all you want about racial profiling, but isn’t that issue raised whenever a person of color is arrested/killed/picked out? not every person of color is innocent, just like with every other race/creed, etc.

    I was very disappoined and upset about the way the protest was done today.

  11. Anonymous

    I wasn’t there for the things in Usdan, but I did have a problem with the Public Safety accusations. While I’m white and have never been in a situation where my race would have been a factor with them, they do a lot for us and in general only seem to step in when our safety or University property are at stake. By that I mean they do their job and generally don’t try to abuse the authority they’re given (which isn’t much). To point this whole thing in their direction is indirectly calling them murderers and advocaters of hate crimes, which is not only grossly untrue (which I’m sure they realize) but disrespectful to an organization that could be so much worse to us. I’m not suggesting that they’re all a bunch of angels. I wouldn’t be surprised at all if certain members are likely to discriminate, but with the small amount of power they wield it’s pretty much just as likely as it would be for anybody. There are a lot of good people working there and to target them as a whole for something way worse than anything they actually did is rude. If one of them recognizes you when you lock yourself out of your room, I wouldn’t blame them for being a little reluctant now.I do think that what you guys are fighting for is right and I don’t mind you being confrontational about it. In fact, I think you have to be to really get something done. But given what you’ve done so far, I don’t think I can take part.

  12. Anonymous

    I wasn’t there for the things in Usdan, but I did have a problem with the Public Safety accusations. While I’m white and have never been in a situation where my race would have been a factor with them, they do a lot for us and in general only seem to step in when our safety or University property are at stake. By that I mean they do their job and generally don’t try to abuse the authority they’re given (which isn’t much).

    To point this whole thing in their direction is indirectly calling them murderers and advocaters of hate crimes, which is not only grossly untrue (which I’m sure they realize) but disrespectful to an organization that could be so much worse to us.

    I’m not suggesting that they’re all a bunch of angels. I wouldn’t be surprised at all if certain members are likely to discriminate, but with the small amount of power they wield it’s pretty much just as likely as it would be for anybody. There are a lot of good people working there and to target them as a whole for something way worse than anything they actually did is rude. If one of them recognizes you when you lock yourself out of your room, I wouldn’t blame them for being a little reluctant now.

    I do think that what you guys are fighting for is right and I don’t mind you being confrontational about it. In fact, I think you have to be to really get something done. But given what you’ve done so far, I don’t think I can take part.

  13. Anonymous

    Are you aware the Psi U party shutdown that was referenced received numerous noise complaints after the first noise complaint was addressed (rumor had it over 10). And that the party goers were verbally abusive and were harassing the area neighbors? And that after the party was shut down, they party goers attempted to flip a car on Fountain later that night because a female student faked being hit by the vehicle as it tried to get down the street that they were blocking? And that the students were blocking a city street and refusing to move out of the way for both private and emergency vehicles? And that when MPD responded, they simply kept driving thru the area to ensure the street would be cleared for emergency vehicles if needed and that the street party WAS NOT SHUT DOWN, contrary to past incidents on Fountain??????? Yet the SOC’s are STILL complaining about this incident???Were the SOC’s treated differently?? Yes! Everyone else gets shut down for 2 noise complaints, they were allowed to get several more. They were allowed to block a street and that was allowed by MPD. Psafe had to act on the behalf of the SOC’s so that MPD wouldn’t shut them down on Fountain. Try getting the facts first please!

  14. Anonymous

    Are you aware the Psi U party shutdown that was referenced received numerous noise complaints after the first noise complaint was addressed (rumor had it over 10). And that the party goers were verbally abusive and were harassing the area neighbors? And that after the party was shut down, they party goers attempted to flip a car on Fountain later that night because a female student faked being hit by the vehicle as it tried to get down the street that they were blocking? And that the students were blocking a city street and refusing to move out of the way for both private and emergency vehicles? And that when MPD responded, they simply kept driving thru the area to ensure the street would be cleared for emergency vehicles if needed and that the street party WAS NOT SHUT DOWN, contrary to past incidents on Fountain??????? Yet the SOC’s are STILL complaining about this incident???

    Were the SOC’s treated differently?? Yes! Everyone else gets shut down for 2 noise complaints, they were allowed to get several more. They were allowed to block a street and that was allowed by MPD. Psafe had to act on the behalf of the SOC’s so that MPD wouldn’t shut them down on Fountain.

    Try getting the facts first please!

  15. stephanie

    anon 142:I’d like to first thank you for your criticisms. We did have a public forum on the Sean Bell discussion a week ago, and I’m sorry you missed it. Alot of times when we advertise this events, it becomes a forum with the usual suspects attending or hearing about it, no matter how frequently or aggressively it’s advertised. I feel like the protest today was a good way to have a more visual marker that makes it evident that people are actually thinking about this issue, rather than gathering in closed quarters discussing it. I spoke to several people who raised the same point about our protest being a very hostile action, and to an extent I agree with you. However, it should be said that our protest in Usdan produced more dialog among our peers than the forum did, and that to me is a good outcome. I understand people resent us forcing the issue upon them, but it’s so easy to ignore a banner than to ignore an entire mass of students. Sometimes it takes a bit of hostility to have a more productive dialog. However, I’m sure we will try to find alternative ways to more effectively raise awareness about this issue, but you must understand, we exhaust all resources with the advertising and they don’t yield the same results as the protest. But maybe a discussion on the protest, a follow-up forum, should be something to look out for. (I am planning this in Fauver, if you want more information, please e-mail me :])3:44 – I am aware that Beta is off-campus housing, I work for reslife :). But P-Safe wouldn’t even call MPD on our behalf when we asked them to, which I thought was a bit unfair to us. I should have clarified this before. 5:06 – I’m happy you understood our objective, and you’re very welcome. :)

  16. stephanie

    anon 142:
    I’d like to first thank you for your criticisms. We did have a public forum on the Sean Bell discussion a week ago, and I’m sorry you missed it. Alot of times when we advertise this events, it becomes a forum with the usual suspects attending or hearing about it, no matter how frequently or aggressively it’s advertised. I feel like the protest today was a good way to have a more visual marker that makes it evident that people are actually thinking about this issue, rather than gathering in closed quarters discussing it. I spoke to several people who raised the same point about our protest being a very hostile action, and to an extent I agree with you. However, it should be said that our protest in Usdan produced more dialog among our peers than the forum did, and that to me is a good outcome. I understand people resent us forcing the issue upon them, but it’s so easy to ignore a banner than to ignore an entire mass of students. Sometimes it takes a bit of hostility to have a more productive dialog. However, I’m sure we will try to find alternative ways to more effectively raise awareness about this issue, but you must understand, we exhaust all resources with the advertising and they don’t yield the same results as the protest. But maybe a discussion on the protest, a follow-up forum, should be something to look out for. (I am planning this in Fauver, if you want more information, please e-mail me :])
    3:44 – I am aware that Beta is off-campus housing, I work for reslife :). But P-Safe wouldn’t even call MPD on our behalf when we asked them to, which I thought was a bit unfair to us. I should have clarified this before.
    5:06 – I’m happy you understood our objective, and you’re very welcome. :)

  17. Nick

    As a student who was inconvenienced by the protesters today, I just wanted to say “thanks” to the people who blocked the stairs. I can’t claim to know the facts about Sean Bell’s shooting, but you made me think about my own (white male) shortcomings and experiences with racism. Linking it to Wesleyan concerns was great. Police shootings and campus interactions are totally different situations, but precisely the same sort of prejudice. Forcing people to change their daily routine was great. Especially since you reminded us of your presence with the counting.Thanks.

  18. Nick

    As a student who was inconvenienced by the protesters today, I just wanted to say “thanks” to the people who blocked the stairs. I can’t claim to know the facts about Sean Bell’s shooting, but you made me think about my own (white male) shortcomings and experiences with racism.

    Linking it to Wesleyan concerns was great. Police shootings and campus interactions are totally different situations, but precisely the same sort of prejudice.

    Forcing people to change their daily routine was great. Especially since you reminded us of your presence with the counting.

    Thanks.

  19. Mad Joy

    4:14:As a white woman, I’ve never been asked to show my ID when I’ve entered the fitness center. People relax the rules more for some than for others.

  20. Mad Joy

    4:14:

    As a white woman, I’ve never been asked to show my ID when I’ve entered the fitness center. People relax the rules more for some than for others.

  21. Anonymous

    @3:14–beta is considered off-campus housing and severed relations with p-safe a few years ago, so they have no jurisdiction there; the only recourse is to bring in MPD. just a clarification.the reason i made my point about the fitness center ID thing is because your handout explicitly listed the gym as one of the places where SOCs are allegedly asked to show their IDs more frequently than white people. if you’re going to make the argument that there’s racial profiling, don’t include a place where everyone has to show his/her/hir ID upon entering.

  22. Anonymous

    @3:14–beta is considered off-campus housing and severed relations with p-safe a few years ago, so they have no jurisdiction there; the only recourse is to bring in MPD. just a clarification.

    the reason i made my point about the fitness center ID thing is because your handout explicitly listed the gym as one of the places where SOCs are allegedly asked to show their IDs more frequently than white people. if you’re going to make the argument that there’s racial profiling, don’t include a place where everyone has to show his/her/hir ID upon entering.

  23. Anonymous

    Stephanie – Thank you for that thoughtful response and for generally being understanding of the concerns of others. I’d like to take you up on your offer to receive constructive criticism.I feel that today’s demonstration was seeking to “raise awareness” in the wrong way. For me, awareness is really about discourse and the exchange of ideas and opinions. I’m glad to see that this was your goal, but I think that blocking the stairs is an inherently hostile action. No, it’s not the end of the world to take the elevator, but the action is confrontational and it makes the vast majority of people unsympathetic to your cause before they even hear what you have to say. This, in my opinion, prevents discourse and “awareness”.Perhaps a public forum of some kind would have been a better venue for this. That way, people who actually wanted to be involved could share their thoughts. Forcing awareness on others is not constructive, because the recipient of the “awareness” is going to resent you for it. Not everyone is going to want to be part of your cause; you should reach out to those who do.This is not so much directed at you as at the activist community in general at Wesleyan. I think there are a whole lot of liberal people like me out there who would want to get involved if it didn’t seem so militaristic. Just try to keep the rest of us in mind.-anon 1:42

  24. Anonymous

    Stephanie –

    Thank you for that thoughtful response and for generally being understanding of the concerns of others. I’d like to take you up on your offer to receive constructive criticism.

    I feel that today’s demonstration was seeking to “raise awareness” in the wrong way. For me, awareness is really about discourse and the exchange of ideas and opinions. I’m glad to see that this was your goal, but I think that blocking the stairs is an inherently hostile action. No, it’s not the end of the world to take the elevator, but the action is confrontational and it makes the vast majority of people unsympathetic to your cause before they even hear what you have to say. This, in my opinion, prevents discourse and “awareness”.

    Perhaps a public forum of some kind would have been a better venue for this. That way, people who actually wanted to be involved could share their thoughts. Forcing awareness on others is not constructive, because the recipient of the “awareness” is going to resent you for it. Not everyone is going to want to be part of your cause; you should reach out to those who do.

    This is not so much directed at you as at the activist community in general at Wesleyan. I think there are a whole lot of liberal people like me out there who would want to get involved if it didn’t seem so militaristic. Just try to keep the rest of us in mind.

    -anon 1:42

  25. Anonymous

    i felt that relating the sean bell case to on-campus racial profiling makes a whole lot of sense, especially considering that a lot of people feel themselves very removed from a court case that happened in another state. i am glad that they reminded us that on whatever scale it happens, racism and the law are routinely cooperating to fuck a lot of people over.

  26. Anonymous

    i felt that relating the sean bell case to on-campus racial profiling makes a whole lot of sense, especially considering that a lot of people feel themselves very removed from a court case that happened in another state. i am glad that they reminded us that on whatever scale it happens, racism and the law are routinely cooperating to fuck a lot of people over.

  27. stephanie

    I keep commenting here, but only because I want to clear up some misconceptions. :)and i fail to see the logic behind your paper-wasting handouts. are you trying to suggest that the party at psi u was broken up because of a loud noise complaint only because there were black people there? do you not recognize that if jose chapa hadn’t run away from the cop, he wouldn’t have been tackled? being a person of color doesn’t give you immunity against the law. No, we are not suggesting that being a POC gives you immunity against the law, but rather there is a high incidence of SOC parties being broken up by MPD and P-Safe in comparison to other parties on campus. Don’t get me wrong, those parties get shut down too, but (and sorry to target you Beta brothers), so many times I’ve seen craziness happen over there and not once have I seen a MPD cop go shut them down. All P-Safe will say is for people with that complaint to call MPD, without realizing that people may have personal issues with doing that.and don’t even get me started on the ID thing. when i monitored the fitness center one day this summer, i asked everyone who came in to show their ID, per protocol. one of those people was black. does that make me a racist? according to your protest, it does. and that’s basically the crux of your argument. absolutely pathetic.No, our problem is with consistency, if you’re doing to everyone because that’s your job and some of those people happen to be black, that doesn’t make you racist. We’re pointing out that there seems to be selectivity regarding the requesting of IDs among RIDE drivers and they predominantly target SOCs. The argument you presented is really strangely worded, and doesn’t make much sense, maybe you meant to say something else?

  28. stephanie

    I keep commenting here, but only because I want to clear up some misconceptions. :)
    and i fail to see the logic behind your paper-wasting handouts. are you trying to suggest that the party at psi u was broken up because of a loud noise complaint only because there were black people there? do you not recognize that if jose chapa hadn’t run away from the cop, he wouldn’t have been tackled? being a person of color doesn’t give you immunity against the law.
    No, we are not suggesting that being a POC gives you immunity against the law, but rather there is a high incidence of SOC parties being broken up by MPD and P-Safe in comparison to other parties on campus. Don’t get me wrong, those parties get shut down too, but (and sorry to target you Beta brothers), so many times I’ve seen craziness happen over there and not once have I seen a MPD cop go shut them down. All P-Safe will say is for people with that complaint to call MPD, without realizing that people may have personal issues with doing that.

    and don’t even get me started on the ID thing. when i monitored the fitness center one day this summer, i asked everyone who came in to show their ID, per protocol. one of those people was black. does that make me a racist? according to your protest, it does. and that’s basically the crux of your argument. absolutely pathetic.
    No, our problem is with consistency, if you’re doing to everyone because that’s your job and some of those people happen to be black, that doesn’t make you racist. We’re pointing out that there seems to be selectivity regarding the requesting of IDs among RIDE drivers and they predominantly target SOCs. The argument you presented is really strangely worded, and doesn’t make much sense, maybe you meant to say something else?

  29. Sheek

    Just doing my part to maintain journalistic non-integrity!About the protest – if nothing else, it was certainly effective. Interfering with people’s feeding routine really does the trick.

  30. Sheek

    Just doing my part to maintain journalistic non-integrity!

    About the protest – if nothing else, it was certainly effective. Interfering with people’s feeding routine really does the trick.

  31. stephanie

    anon 2:46 That whole gun comment is just a case of “he said, she said” and I don’t know how much I agree with that, you’re in a crowded club and no one else heard that comment but you, that’s a bit strange to me. I also do not know if whether at the point where sean bell and his friends entered the car the NYPD officers identified themselves as such, they were plain-clothed and were also drinking to maintain appearances. (correct me if I’m wrong :])We know who won though that argument though.*shrug*And even if it’s not a clear-cut case of brutuality, don’t forget the other instances where the circumstance were much less muddled (such as Amadou Diallo) and yet, those cops were acquitted as well. To me that just says something about how the much value the legal system dictates that life has.

  32. stephanie

    anon 2:46
    That whole gun comment is just a case of “he said, she said” and I don’t know how much I agree with that, you’re in a crowded club and no one else heard that comment but you, that’s a bit strange to me.
    I also do not know if whether at the point where sean bell and his friends entered the car the NYPD officers identified themselves as such, they were plain-clothed and were also drinking to maintain appearances. (correct me if I’m wrong :])
    We know who won though that argument though.
    *shrug*
    And even if it’s not a clear-cut case of brutuality, don’t forget the other instances where the circumstance were much less muddled (such as Amadou Diallo) and yet, those cops were acquitted as well. To me that just says something about how the much value the legal system dictates that life has.

  33. stephanie

    anon 11:53 – I don’t know what that means, but for now all I can say is :lolwut?anon 1:42 & 1:49 – personally feel the group is splintered somewhat in terms of concise goals (we are actively working to change that) however, you have to look at the bigger picture regarding the circumstances behind the Sean Bell case. The reality is again, that racial and sexist biases is what is really harming the relationship between citizens and people in positions of authority, such as p-safe and the MPD. It doesn’t have to involve physical violence for it to be wrong. Reflecting on it personally, and only speaking for myself, I was there because of Sean Bell and what happened, the act of relating it to MPD and P-safe involved the bigger issue of racial biases, which was a huge factor in what went down the Sean Bell’s case. That’s what the demands are linked to, the ending of this bias, but I do feel that more focus should have been on Sean Bell had he been the person who the action was for. In either case, we did this because the circumstances and feelings (not the action)that resulted in Sean Bell’s death could happen to anyone, anywhere and we are trying to create demands that prevent that from occurring on campus so that we can have a safe community for everyone.We also didn’t interfere with your day, it sucks to find another entrance to the marketplace, but there were other options to get there had you chosen to use them. It’s not really our fault that you didn’t, I was telling people where they could find alternate entrances, but in my opinion, we blocked the stairs to raise awareness in a big way in a place where people could see and engage in dialog about it.We welcome all constructive criticism on our protest, we realize that it may have upset people but this was just another form of outreach about something that’s often ignored in society.Be well,Stephanie

  34. stephanie

    anon 11:53 – I don’t know what that means, but for now all I can say is :lolwut?
    anon 1:42 & 1:49 – personally feel the group is splintered somewhat in terms of concise goals (we are actively working to change that) however, you have to look at the bigger picture regarding the circumstances behind the Sean Bell case. The reality is again, that racial and sexist biases is what is really harming the relationship between citizens and people in positions of authority, such as p-safe and the MPD. It doesn’t have to involve physical violence for it to be wrong. Reflecting on it personally, and only speaking for myself, I was there because of Sean Bell and what happened, the act of relating it to MPD and P-safe involved the bigger issue of racial biases, which was a huge factor in what went down the Sean Bell’s case. That’s what the demands are linked to, the ending of this bias, but I do feel that more focus should have been on Sean Bell had he been the person who the action was for. In either case, we did this because the circumstances and feelings (not the action)that resulted in Sean Bell’s death could happen to anyone, anywhere and we are trying to create demands that prevent that from occurring on campus so that we can have a safe community for everyone.
    We also didn’t interfere with your day, it sucks to find another entrance to the marketplace, but there were other options to get there had you chosen to use them. It’s not really our fault that you didn’t, I was telling people where they could find alternate entrances, but in my opinion, we blocked the stairs to raise awareness in a big way in a place where people could see and engage in dialog about it.
    We welcome all constructive criticism on our protest, we realize that it may have upset people but this was just another form of outreach about something that’s often ignored in society.
    Be well,
    Stephanie

  35. Anonymous

    I have a problem with the whole situation, while 50 bullets is probably excessive, I have NO pity for you if you yell “I’m going to go get my gun” and jump into your car when cops ask you to stop. You likely will get shot and you should know that regardless of your race.Not to say that police brutality and racial profiling doesn’t occur and isn’t horrible, but I don’t think this case is a clear-cut instance of such.

  36. Anonymous

    I have a problem with the whole situation, while 50 bullets is probably excessive, I have NO pity for you if you yell “I’m going to go get my gun” and jump into your car when cops ask you to stop. You likely will get shot and you should know that regardless of your race.

    Not to say that police brutality and racial profiling doesn’t occur and isn’t horrible, but I don’t think this case is a clear-cut instance of such.

  37. Anonymous

    thirded. what exactly is blocking the stairs supposed to accomplish?and i fail to see the logic behind your paper-wasting handouts. are you trying to suggest that the party at psi u was broken up because of a loud noise complaint only because there were black people there? do you not recognize that if jose chapa hadn’t run away from the cop, he wouldn’t have been tackled? being a person of color doesn’t give you immunity against the law.and don’t even get me started on the ID thing. when i monitored the fitness center one day this summer, i asked everyone who came in to show their ID, per protocol. one of those people was black. does that make me a racist? according to your protest, it does. and that’s basically the crux of your argument. absolutely pathetic.

  38. Anonymous

    thirded. what exactly is blocking the stairs supposed to accomplish?

    and i fail to see the logic behind your paper-wasting handouts. are you trying to suggest that the party at psi u was broken up because of a loud noise complaint only because there were black people there? do you not recognize that if jose chapa hadn’t run away from the cop, he wouldn’t have been tackled? being a person of color doesn’t give you immunity against the law.

    and don’t even get me started on the ID thing. when i monitored the fitness center one day this summer, i asked everyone who came in to show their ID, per protocol. one of those people was black. does that make me a racist? according to your protest, it does. and that’s basically the crux of your argument. absolutely pathetic.

  39. Anonymous

    anon 1:42- completely agree!if you’re going to protest, you don’t have to interfere with my day. the wesleyan student body isn’t responsible, neither is p-safe. I dont get the point of blocking the stairs.

  40. Anonymous

    anon 1:42- completely agree!

    if you’re going to protest, you don’t have to interfere with my day. the wesleyan student body isn’t responsible, neither is p-safe. I dont get the point of blocking the stairs.

  41. Anonymous

    I am really disappointed in the way that this protest is being conducted. First, let me say that what happened to Sean Bell is an atrocity. I think there is a valid discussion we all could be having about racism and police brutality. I also think it is irresponsible to extend this discussion towards institutions at Wesleyan such as P-Safe and The Ride. Honestly, I don’t see the connection between NYC cops shooting someone in the street and P-Safe officers (who are not law enforcement and do not carry guns) shutting down parties, or the gym employees asking for student IDs. Can we be reasonable and agree that these issues are only tangentially related? They are legitimate issues, but they should be discussed in their own context. It seems unfair for the activists to have “demands” related to Sean Bell that are directed at the university. P-safe didn’t shoot Sean Bell – neither did Michael Roth or the kids trying to get lunch today when the protesters blocked the staircase. I understand the desire to present your ideas of justice and I wholly support your right to do so. I would just like the protesters to know that by blocking the stairs, preventing the flow of traffic, and generally fucking up my day, you have conflicted with my own personal conception of ‘justice’.

  42. Anonymous

    I am really disappointed in the way that this protest is being conducted. First, let me say that what happened to Sean Bell is an atrocity. I think there is a valid discussion we all could be having about racism and police brutality.

    I also think it is irresponsible to extend this discussion towards institutions at Wesleyan such as P-Safe and The Ride. Honestly, I don’t see the connection between NYC cops shooting someone in the street and P-Safe officers (who are not law enforcement and do not carry guns) shutting down parties, or the gym employees asking for student IDs. Can we be reasonable and agree that these issues are only tangentially related? They are legitimate issues, but they should be discussed in their own context. It seems unfair for the activists to have “demands” related to Sean Bell that are directed at the university. P-safe didn’t shoot Sean Bell – neither did Michael Roth or the kids trying to get lunch today when the protesters blocked the staircase.

    I understand the desire to present your ideas of justice and I wholly support your right to do so. I would just like the protesters to know that by blocking the stairs, preventing the flow of traffic, and generally fucking up my day, you have conflicted with my own personal conception of ‘justice’.

  43. Mad Joy

    PS. I’m not saying that sheek’s posting style / philosophy is bad, just that it’s different from my own.

  44. Mad Joy

    PS. I’m not saying that sheek’s posting style / philosophy is bad, just that it’s different from my own.

  45. Mad Joy

    Whoa, whoa, whoa.I completely agree with you that this is obviously a terrible act that is racist, classist, heterosexist, homophobic, and problematic. these “police officers,” though I hate to even call them that, make me sick.But I’m a different poster than sheek, who posted about the cops throwing candy at a student, and I try to be as impartial as I can in the blog posts themselves (though not in my comments).I think you have a very valid point; it’s disgusting that (a) the media isn’t condemning this injustice by the cops unilaterally, that (b) the media isn’t condemning the failed system that acquits these cops and thus supports this murder, and that (c) the system somehow managed to acquit these cops and support this murder.However, I am the media here, and I don’t want to force my opinions down anyone’s throat, either. It’s disgusting, yes. But not every reader agrees with that, and it’s not my place to force them to as a Wesleyan blogger – only to try to convince them to, as an individual human being, as a personal commenter, just like you did.

  46. Mad Joy

    Whoa, whoa, whoa.

    I completely agree with you that this is obviously a terrible act that is racist, classist, heterosexist, homophobic, and problematic. these “police officers,” though I hate to even call them that, make me sick.

    But I’m a different poster than sheek, who posted about the cops throwing candy at a student, and I try to be as impartial as I can in the blog posts themselves (though not in my comments).

    I think you have a very valid point; it’s disgusting that (a) the media isn’t condemning this injustice by the cops unilaterally, that (b) the media isn’t condemning the failed system that acquits these cops and thus supports this murder, and that (c) the system somehow managed to acquit these cops and support this murder.

    However, I am the media here, and I don’t want to force my opinions down anyone’s throat, either. It’s disgusting, yes. But not every reader agrees with that, and it’s not my place to force them to as a Wesleyan blogger – only to try to convince them to, as an individual human being, as a personal commenter, just like you did.

  47. Anonymous

    I sense a reticence in the words “The incident has been labeled an act of police brutality and an act of racism by many activists” that makes me truly uncomfortable. To characterize the slaughter of an innocent, unarmed man at his bachelor party with a shower of 50 bullets, requiring the three officers to reload ammunition, as an act that “has been labeled an act of racism by many activists” is incrediby problematic. Especially on Wesleying, which can rant for days about the treatment of a Wesleyan (read: White, entitled) student who gets a stern talking to for throwing some candy near a cop, this seems like the sort of hesitance that keeps people from acting up over Sean Bell. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=89L6Z-348FYWhat role does alcohol play in this? Or the fact that his friends were less than savory characters? Or that he was at a strip club to begin with? If he were at Scores instead of a cheaper bar or if he were White instead of Black, if he were college-educated, if he were “one of us” would that legitimize his death as an act of the most severe control, repression and murder by the state? How does this carry over into how we view one another on campus and how things are dealt with when night falls and drinks get into us and racist, classist, heterosexist, homophobic, problematic battles are waged? If you want to talk about these and other issues then attend the rally at Usdan today, wear Back and ask questions. Resist the media’s hesitance in naming Sean Bell for what it clearly is.-S. Bery ’09 (I don’t blog…)

  48. Anonymous

    I sense a reticence in the words “The incident has been labeled an act of police brutality and an act of racism by many activists” that makes me truly uncomfortable. To characterize the slaughter of an innocent, unarmed man at his bachelor party with a shower of 50 bullets, requiring the three officers to reload ammunition, as an act that “has been labeled an act of racism by many activists” is incrediby problematic. Especially on Wesleying, which can rant for days about the treatment of a Wesleyan (read: White, entitled) student who gets a stern talking to for throwing some candy near a cop, this seems like the sort of hesitance that keeps people from acting up over Sean Bell.


    What role does alcohol play in this? Or the fact that his friends were less than savory characters? Or that he was at a strip club to begin with? If he were at Scores instead of a cheaper bar or if he were White instead of Black, if he were college-educated, if he were “one of us” would that legitimize his death as an act of the most severe control, repression and murder by the state? How does this carry over into how we view one another on campus and how things are dealt with when night falls and drinks get into us and racist, classist, heterosexist, homophobic, problematic battles are waged? If you want to talk about these and other issues then attend the rally at Usdan today, wear Back and ask questions. Resist the media’s hesitance in naming Sean Bell for what it clearly is.
    -S. Bery ’09 (I don’t blog…)

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