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Failing grade


 To the editor:

The police’s militarized response to campus protests over the war in Gaza, and what students believe is university-funded and Washington-funded genocide by Israel, is not surprising. The city’s law-and-order mayor, Eric Adams, runs what he calls “my police” with his cronies, including Philip Banks III and Jeffrey Maddrey.  

The mayor and police officials persuaded university leaders that police needed to intervene. Then, at Columbia on May Day, the police prevented journalists from witnessing the raid at Hamilton Hall. Also, reporters from the university’s student newspaper, the Daily Spectator, legal observers and medics were forced to leave Hamilton. Students later reported police had used unnecessary force. 

In the days after police arrested 282 people at Columbia and the City College campus further uptown, Adams and two police officials, Tarik Sheppard and Kaz Daughtry, made laughable claims about outside agitators. The New York Post, Fox News, and Morning Joe on MSNBC took these claims seriously. Adams said they were “trying to radicalize our children.” 

Sheppard and Daughtry offered other “evidence” to prove there were outside agitators.  This included: tents that were the same color at different protests (this type is inexpensive); heavy metal chain locks (these were sold by Columbia’s Public Safety Department); and an Oxford University Press book, “Terrorism,” which can be found on the shelves of Columbia’s libraries.

Howard Elterman


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  • wpeakes

    @Howard Elterman

    Initially, the protesters had a fair amount of support (including mine) until they broken into a building, smashing windows, vandalizing offices, and barricading themselves inside with others that became, in effect, hostages. What would you have done under those circumstances? If allowed to continue as it unfolded, that kind of action could have easily been duplicated all over the city and ended up on more than just college campuses. While I'm not a fan of heavy-handed police action, in this case, "outside agitators" or not, the protesters went too far and Mayor Adams had to make a decision when university officials asked for help.

    Thursday, May 16 Report this