Bellevue Records (Pt. 13)
[Author’s Note: This story is part of a series documenting punitive actions taken against me by Rutgers University & various law enforcement agencies beginning November 9, 2016 — the day after Trump’s election. Start with Part 1.]
Haven’t been writing much here because not much has happened. The great beauracratic gears at Rutgers have ground to a halt. More delays. More waiting. More limbo. And given the fact that Spring 2017 semester starts in just a few days — 1/17/2017 to be precise — I’m most certainly out of the teaching jobs that were about to be formalized (contracts signed) at the commencement of these events.
Adjunct teaching isn’t much, but erasing those jobs means taking away the $11k lump sum for teaching two courses I was counting on to live (in addition to other informal income like freelance speaking and writing gigs) over the next semester — February through June. The timing and seemingly malicious intent in the original complaint was always meant to do just this, so I can’t say I’m surprised. I also can’t say it doesn’t sting regardless, emotionally and financially.
The good news: seems like the FBI has taken their cue to exit stage left and Detective Last Name has left me alone since being contacted by my legal representation. I also have a separate legal firm, in addition to my union representation, going to bat for me against Rutgers University. They think it’s clear this entire chain of events was set in motion by someone with a major grudge (redacted names, remember?) in order to bar me from the classroom for good. (And redacted or not, I have a good idea of who that person is.) They also believe anyone worth their weight as police officers should’ve seen that and never escalated things beyond trying to informally contacting me back on 11/15. So I’m still pushing back. And won’t stop.
On 1/11, almost a full month after requesting my medical records from Bellevue, I was finally able to retrieve them. Earlier, on 12/16 to be exact, I had trekked back to Bellevue (a place I never really wanted to go back to) to request them in person since the operator on the phone had instructed me it was the quickest option. She told me I’d receive them immediately at the office, which is why I went in person at all. Nope.
I was given an obligatory “10 business days” and that they weren’t available for in-person pick up. They would be mailed to me. OK, fine. At least the request was submitted and I felt more confident handing my request to an actual person than sending it off through snail mail. No harm, no foul.
Surprise, surprise: 10 business days came and went. Nothing. I finally called back on 1/6. “It shows here the request was just granted and they should be mailed to you. Check back on Tuesday if you don’t receive them by then.” Ugh. OK.
Tuesday’s mail came. Nothing. Called back on Wednesday, 1/11. Where are my records? “Oh, they’re here. You can pick them up anytime.” What in the fucking hell? So after almost a full month, I had to go back to Bellevue to pick up the records though I was explicitly told them wouldn’t be available for pick up. “Well we can mail them to you but it will take a few more days.”
Forget it, cancel it. I was on my way. I had plans that day, but took a detour back to Bellevue before the records disappeared again. I arrived at the same counter I requested the records from, handed the copy of my original request back to the woman behind the plexi-glass partition. Get this: she then PRINTED THE RECORDS OUT FROM THE COMPUTER and handed them to me.
Forgive my all caps, but this means they could have been printed and handed to me on that very first visit back on 12/16. Another month wasted waiting for nothing. Jesus take the wheel... Deep breath. OK, I had the records now. I was calm, I smiled, and I left. I hope I never see the inside of Bellevue again as along as I live.
The records show everything I knew they would show, and a lot of things that Rutgers Police and the NYPD have tried to deny since the psych evaluation. They’re not short and they’re quite repetitive, but here they are:
There’s another summary report of 4 pages but it only regurgitates pieces from the preceding 6. Whew. At any rate, the medical records confirm some things that previously got thrown into confusion. My account of the situation has never wavered, but both Rutgers’ and the NYPD’s has.
When calling to originally dispute the Bellevue bill (a dispute which has since been rejected throwing the bill back into my lap), I was told Bellevue had no record of the NYPD being involved. Obviously, here it’s been recorded that I was transported by ambulance with police escort. So…I obviously wasn’t volunteering on a whim to see what a psych evaluation might be like. What kind of idiotic logic?
Rutgers and the NYPD and have both pointed their fingers at each other, in reports, over who decided an evaluation was required (presumably to also dodge the bills now in my lap despite NYPD explicitly stating I wouldn’t be charged for anything). Yes, I “technically” volunteered to go: after refusing a number of times, after being threatened with force and arrest by the NYPD if I continued to refuse, and after the NYPD officers in my apartment called RUPD to ensure that they needed to have me evaluated.
Though I could not hear the response from RUPD over the phone, it’s a pretty safe bet that Rutgers ultimately answered in the affirmative, since NYPD then hung up the phone and told me “yes, the evaluation is required.” And not just an evaluation, but an ambulance transport which indicates some level of being held in police custody, even if unofficially. I tried to drive myself. I tried to accomodate Rutgers and NYPD but they wouldn’t accommodate me, even though I was far from being “a threat” on the scene or anytime before.
The medical records also give the names of the doctors reporting on my situation, witnesses in my favor that can testify to the unnecessary nature of the evaluation. And witnesses to my absolutely calm, collected demeanor in the most aggravating, illogical, and even unconstitutional circumstances. Yet, I kept composure. I was absolutely no threat. Proof positive. And let’s not forget the 6 intermediary — completely normal, uneventful — days between the initial charge of my being unstable and/or a threat and a complaint against me being reported, along with the subsequent evaluation.
And 2 days later, after this stellar report of my mental health and prowess, Rutgers chose to take further action against me placing me on administrative leave without doing any investigation into the results of the evaluation itself or even trying to contact me to hear my side. The evidence is incontrovertible. This non-incident was escalated over and over again through shoddy police work, intimidation, coercion, and then further punitive actions by Rutgers University that, after I was cleared of any threat, further barred me from confirming my employment for the coming semester. Effectively shutting me out of Rutgers’ classrooms permanently.
This was all based off the unverified comlpaint of a “parent” who may or may not be real. All signs point to malicious intent against me personally, not anything that actually happened in a classroom. The Rutgers investigation against me (which is going on 60 days now and counting) is for alleged violation of a Violence in the Workplace policy. It’s obvious from the beginning that no violence occured and any further investigation was eggregiously punitive. The illogic of the investigation itself is astounding.
But there is someone with an agenda, someone with malicious intent. And that someone has escalated these events beyond all reason. And that someone’s name has been redacted along with the name of the supposed “parent” also involved.
I know my students do NOT feel threatened by me. I know this is a personal vendetta. And I know who is waging it with the name redacted or not. I have a spotless teaching record over 8 years. Sure, there’s been a little tussle over a grade or some minor quibble about class, but nothing that has risen to the level of discipline from the University. Many people at Rutgers get re-hired semester after semester with lower student evaluation scores than me, and less experience and/or credentials. So this is personal, indeed.
I don’t know if Rutgers meant to send me my student evaluations for the Knowledge & Power course I taught this past semester, but they did. (It’s typical to be able to see your evaluations after grades have been submitted, but since my grading capabilities were taken away with weeks left in the semester, I didn’t expect to be able to view these results.) Are these the responses students would give to an instructor that was a “threat to public safety” on Rutgers’ campus? I don’t think so.
And let’s not forget to whom they say I’m a threat: white students; a particular white student; the idea of a white student in my class, since none of the complaint was corroborated or verified as coming from an actual student. So it seems Rutgers — the University that proudly touts the moniker of most diverse student-body in the U.S. — wants to choose protecting the possible hurt feelings of one particular white student as the hill to die on post-Trump’s election is quite telling. And quite shameful if you ask me. They want to throw all the power in the basket of a fictitious possibly offended white student who held all the power in the bigger scheme of things anyway. Don’t forget that.
(As I end this installment of my story, I’m also shamelessly including this link: www.cash.me/$kevinallred. As you’ve read, given how drawn out this process is, I’ve lost a significant portion of my income for the coming semester. If you support my writing and teaching, please consider donating just a $1 or $2 or whatever you feel like. And I only make this shameless plug because it’s my birthday on 1/13, so I’d be forever grateful. If everyone reading my tweets and writing, etc. donated just a tiny amount, it would make up for that loss of income and it would help me exponentially continue writing, teaching, and making white people feel uncomfortable in their privilege. If you feel more comfortable donating but keeping card info off the internet, I’m also “Kallred” at Venmo. THANK YOU!)