Monday, December 6, 2010

Two More Witnesses Contradict UMSL Police Account

Ryan Krull at the UMSL Current has some interesting updates about the student, Brian Massey, who was beaten by campus police. First, two more students have come forward with accounts that contradict the official police story:
The student witnesses take particular exception to Police Chief Forest Van Ness’ claim that Massey grabbed at the arresting officer when the officer was placing handcuffs on him.

“As he was being arrested he was just asking why and asked if he could just put his wallet back before being handcuffed,” Kendeh Isom, senior, biology, said.

It was after asking why he was being arrested, according to Isom, that Massey was thrown on the ground and dragged out of the MSC lobby and into the part of the building where The U is located as well as several other offices, including the Center for Student Success. While in this area of the MSC, Isom said that the door was open and she and several others could see two officers on top of Massey, one punching his legs and another hitting Massey’s head into the ground. She said Massey was making no attempt to resist or fight back while on the ground.

Dasma Hopkins, junior, media studies, who was also in the MSC at the time of the incident gave essentially an identical account of the events as Isom did. Both Hopkins and Isom’s accounts coincide by and large with what Justin Collins, senior, studio art, told The Current previously.

Isom also said that she felt that the UM-St. Louis Police were “nonchalant” when taking her statement and she feels as though they will not be taking what she or any of the other student witnesses say seriously.
Also, it sounds like the person who originally asked Massie to leave from the student center was the Sports Director for the U. The article cites the following policy regarding students:
“In most cases, a student would only be requested to vacate a classroom or building if their behavior was determined to be disruptive,” he said. “According to the Student Code of Conduct, Section 200.010 B.10, students must comply with the request of University officials acting in the performance of their duties. If the student feels that this request is unfair, they are still obligated to leave but can contact the appropriate office to report their concern.”
Massey was not being disruptive. He was sitting on the chairs outside the radio station, according the the original reports. The U radio station has two rooms within the student center. I could see why the Sports Director might have authority to kick a student out of the station, but Massey was not in the station. So I have a hard time seeing how the Sports Director asking him to leave would count as an official "acting in the performance of their duties."

3 comments:

  1. concerned UMSL studentDecember 9, 2010 at 11:13 PM

    WHY NOT CHECK THE SURVELLAINCE VIDEOS!! I REFUSE TO PAY TUITION THAT INCLUDES THE "PROTECTIVE SERVICES" OF OFFICERS WHO WILL NEVER ADMIT THEY ARE WRONG UNTILL THE VIDEO PROVES IT!!

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  2. I am an UMSL student and I think that the surveillance video from that day should be made public so there will be no question as to what happened.

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  3. I think Massey should press charges against the campus police. Surely there is an attorney out there who would take this case on contingency. Outrageous!

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