Officers “were using a cell phone to take pictures of the student where they live through a window.”
WFSB 3 Connecticut
Though details are scarce, students have been understandably shaken by the recent news that two Public Safety officers have been fired for “the surreptitious viewing and possibly the video recording of a female student in her residence.” The fact that this follows closely on other alleged cases of Public Safety misconduct, ranging from theft to physically assaulting a student, certainly doesn’t help.
A WFSB Eyewitness News video report on the incident offers some clarity as to how this took place. According to the report, the officers were using a cell phone through a campus window to record the student:
Sources told Eyewitness News this was not a sophisticated setup. In fact, they were believed to be using something that most of us already have – a smartphone.
The public safety officers were using a cell phone to take pictures of the student where they live through a window without that individual knowing it.
Here’s how they were caught:
Public Safety has had an interesting year at best. First alleged racial profiling during homecoming weekend, then allegations of Public Safety assaulting a Wesleyan student, and in January, an officer was fired for allegedly stealing equipment from faculty offices. This was followed by today’s email (see below) in which two Public Safety officers were involved in viewing and possibly video recording a female student in her residence. The two offending officers have since been fired. According to an email from Dean Mike Whaley, Wesleyan “is cooperating with Middletown police in an ongoing investigation.”
Following last semester’s forum, President Roth ’78 had an independent review look into Public Safety’s current practices and relationship with the University. Tonight, from 7 p.m.-8 p.m. in the Daniel Family Commons (third floor of Usdan), you can attend an open student session and meet with the representatives of the independent company conducting the review, Margolis Healy. It’s some pretty strikingly appropriate timing, considering today’s email report.
Watch a student-produced documentary about recent tensions involving Public Safety here.
Date: Tuesday, April 30 (today)
Place: Daniel Family Commons
Read past the jump for the full email.
As I was sitting in Olin at about 8:05 on Sunday night, minding my own business—which was, at the time, a Physics problem set—a loud, authoritative voice broke the usually monastic silence of the second floor. Initially, I was pretty annoyed. I’m having enough trouble applying Kepler’s laws of planetary motion without your help, you selfish jerk. Come on—THIS IS A LIBRARY!
As I stewed in my anger, I realized that this wasn’t a case of a couple of idiots talking too loudly—this was something serious. I got up and walked over to the door from the second floor stacks to the stairwell, where the commotion was. When I saw a group of three or four Public Safety officers standing over a young man in a chair, I stopped worrying that my laptop would be stolen in my absence, and my Wesleying blogger’s instinct took over: I started eavesdropping.
The officers were grilling the guy who, at this point, I thought was a student. They wanted him to take them to his car. However, the man seemed to have ‘forgotten’ where he had parked it. Then, they started to ask about a silver digital camera. Apparently he had been taking pictures of something he shouldn’t have been. By now, the man, an average looking guy, was hunched over in his seat. When he spoke, his flat, unexpressive voice delivered short, terse sentences. He sounded trapped.
Memo: just because we have a sexuality magazine on campus doesn’t mean your hallmates want to be covertly photographed while taking a shower. A Wesleyan sophomore learned this unfortunate lesson today and was promptly arrested, according to a Public Safety alert fresh from your inbox:
At approximately 8:30 this morning, Public Safety and Middletown Police responded to a complaint from a student that another student had covertly taken pictures of her while she was in the shower. The alleged incident took place at a student residence on High Street. As a result of the investigation, the accused student was arrested by Middletown Police and has been removed from campus pending a judicial hearing.
Both Middletown Police and Public Safety consider this an isolated incident. The University is not releasing further details in order to maintain the privacy of the individuals involved. A report will appear on the Campus Climate Log later this week.