[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.]
Well, well, well…looks like all the pressure I put on the RUPD Records office through multiple visits and OPRA requests finally paid off. The day of the 2nd OPRA request denial — 12/15/16 — I also sent emails to my union reps and legal representation, and the HR investigator herself. After all, she indicated it would be helpful to her if I had the report, so I thought she might be interested in my progress, or lack thereof.
Turns out, the investigator came through. Sort of. She emailed me back and I called her the next morning, Friday 12/16/16. She spoke to a contact at RUPD and relayed to me that the problem here was largely about timing. When I first requested the report through OPRA, it wasn’t finalized. As soon as it became finalized — as a “criminal investigatory record” no less — it became ineligible for OPRA disclosure, just like I’d thought. The reason being, it didn’t need to be filed in the first place, and because it did it was bestowed with some all-powerful limbo status, in existence but exempt. Legal precedent to bypass the law.
(I should also state that anyone at any point in this arduous process could’ve told me all or pieces of this information and they chose not to, they kept passing me off to some other entity. Which indicates they were happy withholding information; they were happy keeping that information from the very person most in need of it. Encouraged to do so maybe. Huh.)
However, she told me that being a party of this paritcular police action, I still had a right to the report. Also just like I’d thought. (All my TV obsessions with legal programming must’ve paid off! Sidetone: I honestly think I could be a star member of Annalise Keating’s legal clinic on How To Get Away With Murder. I’d certainly be better than any of those hoo-haws she did include. They’re worthless.) So that meant I was back to the beginning, requesting the record from the Records office themselves just as I’d tried weeks earlier. They were the ones that sent me to OPRA. A circle always doubles back on itself by design.
I printed the Incident Report form from the RUPD website as the investigator instructed and filled it out. The only piece of information I didn’t have on hand was the Incident Report # itself. I called to ask if I could send without and they’d fill it in, or if they could tell me over the phone what it was so I could include it myself. I wasn’t taking any chances being denied again for a simple failure to fill out a small box.
Upon calling, I was once again referred back to an OPRA request. Big surprise. No one knew what was going on on either end of the conversation. I politely and quickly reconstructed events, told the woman on the phone about my two previous OPRA requests. She reiterated that she couldn’t give me the report from her office. After a few more blunt requests on my part, she promised to speak more with her supervisors and figure out what was going on and give me a call back. She took down my information.
She did not call me back. However, an RUPD Sergeant did at around 4:30 pm that Friday. He let me know the report was ready and available to be picked up immediately.
You don’t say? After all this, you just drop it like it’s hot right in my lap, acting as if there hasn’t been weeks worth of back-and-forth and confusion. OK. At least I was getting it. He told me just to confirm with the Records office again before driving in, but it should be ready as soon as Monday, 12/19/16.
I used that report finally on the horizon as a beacon to get me through the weekend. And first thing Monday morning I called the Records office to confirm. I said I’d been having trouble accessing an incident report for weeks and was just making sure it was ready before driving in from Brooklyn.
“Oh, is this Mr. Allred?” the woman asked.
Ummmm…yes, it is. I guess I’m a celebrity there now.
“Yes, of course the report is ready. We can actually email it to you if you’d prefer. We’ve already checked your ID on earlier visits, so it’s no problem.”
Well, holy fuck. Now I was getting the full royal treatment. Yes, please. I would prefer email so I don’t have to drive 90 minutes in to campus and back home again.
“Sure, no problem. Just give me a few minutes and it should be in your inbox.”
I honestly can’t convey the newfound amenability the Records office was showing in words. After weeks — WEEKS — of being jerked around, they were acting like this was the most routine of all transactions. You wanted this report? Oh of course, and let me make it even easier on you if I can. Surreal.
Their new-found optimism and helpfulness made me suspicious. They worked very hard to keep this information from me for a long period of time and were now eager to share it. I couldn’t help but wonder why they no longer cared; in fact, why they were jumping at the chance to shove the report directly into my hands and inbox. It’s only speculation of course, but they’d had weeks to work on their story, doctor reports, construct their narrative, whatever. This abrupt change of heart didn’t sit well depsite the fact I’d finally get to read the inciting incidents.
To my continued surprise, within minutes, the report came through. Just like the woman on the phone had promised. The first time Rutgers had come through with anything they’d promised in my memory.
Let me just drop the bomb of all 5 pages of this report (that’s right — 5 whole pages with supplements and allegedly detailed narrative review) at once, in its entirety. It’s a doozy. Inconsistencies and lies abound. As well as outright confirmation of some of my suspicions. As much as knowledge is power, this knowledge only further confused and infuriated me upon reading.
And P.S. — it’s redacted. So the actual names I need to know to counter the complaint in my own defense are still a mystery. (I’m captioning the pages with how I’ll be referring to them variously below.)
Hold on. “Nature of Incident: Terroristic Threat”??? Really? Terrorist? Damn. Alright, shoot your shot, RUPD. It’s not likely to land anywhere remotely close to the field in any case.
Whew. OK. First thing that jumped out at me is timing. The report status is listed as closed (albeit exceptionally), with prosecution already denied, at 6:27 pm on 11/15/16— the exact time the Initial Complaint names as first knowledge of the report. The exact evening I was carted off to Bellevue around 10:15 pm. So if this case was reported and closed at the exact same time, why was the NYPD even notified? Why were events escalated at all?
Next, the Initial Complaint that I’ve marked as PO Roitzsch’s narrative (the same PO referenced in the NYPD Aided Report as setting events in motion) is preceeded an hour earlier by Supplement 1. So why isn’t Supplement 1 regarded as the initial complaint? Moreover, they both seem to come from different places — which means they were reported independetly and almost concurrently. Overkill by someone trying to make a point versus relate an actual threat they thought existed? Oh.
Now I know police officers might not complete reports immediately and there’s a certain amount of wiggle room in looking back at timing, but this seems eggregious. If a case was closed as soon as it began, or generously just an hour after an initial report, then why was I subjected to further punitive police action by NYPD? If these times are true, someone grossly overstepped. (The time stamps on my tweets in the report are also patently wrong, hours to early for each of them.)
Supplement 2 then comes in on Friday 11/18/16 — after the psych evaluation and being placed on administrative leave. Why? There was no direct or imminent threat and yet they’re still trying to play it up 9 full days later. Even on 11/15/16, the complaint clearly references events and tweets of 11/9/16 so any imminence to an alleged threat has passed. Even more so by 11/18, especially since a psych eval has cleared me completely. And since I’d been placed publicly on administrative leave at this point, why the additional complaint?
RUPD was quite aware of the psych eval because PO Roitzsch speaks to being in contact with NYPD throughout that night (although the content of those conversations is suspect to me given what I heard on my end) and Supplement 1 spoke of my continued tweets after being released from the hospital — about my treatment by police and the hospital. So was this just sour grapes? Retaliation after the fact for catching RUPD and NYPD in their own game of intimidation? What the fuck was going on?
Not to mention, each RUPD officer contacted seemingly independently (although by the same concerned person or same chain of concern from the same person) were at different levels of investigation. A Patrol Officer, a Detective Lieutnant, and a Sergeant. Why the haphazard and scorched earth version of contact and report? It speaks to a personal vendetta versus an actual legitimate threat, especially — once again — because it was only expressed 6 days after any alleged threatening actions took place, indicated by the complainant themselves. And after I’d already been back in the classroom without incident and after passing a psych evaluation.
The NYPD and RUPD are also blatantly lying. As I’ve reported earlier, I was forced to go for the psych eval by NYPD. According to the RUPD report, NYPD was going to ask me to go voluntarily. That never took place. I was never given an option. Closest thing to it was “if you don’t go willingly, we will force you to comply.” Just as expected, NYPD and RUPD are pointing fingers at each other in order to skirt any responsibility for the actions taken by the both of them in tandem (and to avoid responsibility for bills received after the fact — after NYPD promised there would be no charges).
I was manipulated by NYPD to go with them so they wouldn’t apply force and/or arrest me. Though now I know they coudln’t have arrested me if I’d explicitly refuesed. Hindsight. I was also manipulated by NYPD saying there would be no bills, no charges. Now RUPD, the initiating office, is claiming they never instructed any of this. I even gladly told NYPD officers I’d happily submit to anything the RUPD saw fit the next morning when I was back on campus for my classes. How convenient. Direct action taken with no one accountable.
I should also state the very person responsible for Supplement 1 and reviewing all other pieces of this report is Detective Lieutenant Brian Emmett, the person who I exchanged emails with around the OPRA request and the finalization of the report. Meaning, he knew it was not going to be disclosed regardless but told me to go ahead with an additional OPRA request after finalization. It also indicates the times herein have been tampered with, because the report shows it was finalized and closed well before my email exchange with Emmett, thus negating the 1st OPRA denial.
So what’s the real story? Not-yet-finalized/Finalized? Subject to OPRA/not subject to OPRA? Fabricated or backdated to back up RUPD’s story and divert responsibility? This is a bonafide shitshow and various parties are scrambling to cover their asses. Someone fucked up majorly. And someone needs to answer for that. That someone is absolutely, most certainly, not me.
And we haven’t even gotten to my favorite part of all this: the fact that the RUPD report and all its supplements confirms the fact that not one person EVER spoke to a student that felt threatened. All contact was through email and phone from a “parent” and a redacted “Rutgers affiliate.” Now I’ve talked about my suspicions about Rutgers personnel themselves being involved and struggles I’ve had in the past. Is this more proof?
Why is a Rutgers employee redacted in all this? I understand, though contest when the allegation proves fabricated, that a parent or student might insist on anonymity. But the Rutgers faculty point-person that relayed much of the complaint and escalated the situation? Do they have any right to anonymity? In my opinion, this only bolsters my theories and suspicions from earlier. Because if I was able to compel the name of that particular person, it might also open them up to a targeted harassment suit. Since they have been harassing and basically stalking me and my social media for over a year. (They even directly placed one of their own graduate students as the “replacement scholar” for my “Politicizing Beyoncé” course even though it wasn’t under their department or purview anymore. Hmmm…)
And why did no one ever insist on speaking to the student in question? Nothing in this report indicates that a student felt threatened. ONLY that the parent of a white student felt that their child was threatened. Those are two very different claims, especially when punitive actions are involved. To the best of my knowledge, even the HR investigator was kept from speaking to the student in question and that’s suspect, to say the least. Is there an actual student at the center of this claim? I’m not sure.
And there’s no way for me to confirm that this “parent” is in fact an actual parent of a student in my course and not just an internet troll trying to cause trouble. Why was this “complaint” taken seriously from the outset? There was ZERO indication of threat and ZERO corroboration of feeling threatened by an actual student.
On the basis of 2nd and 3rd hand information, RUPD felt it necessary to label me, in effect, a “terrorist.” The classification of the report is “terroristic threats.” That’s seriously loaded language that they didn’t shy away from with little to zero evidence. Meanwhile, Rutgers as a University emails students at large to let them know that labels like “sanctuary campus” and “safe space” only further divide in an “already divisive political climate.”
So Rutgers won’t stand up for the students, employees, faculty most at risk — immigrants, LGBTQ+ folks, people of color, women, etc. — but they will take a hard line when it comes to one possible (not even confirmed) white student feeling uncomfortable on campus because they might support Donald Trump. Supplement 2 shows this to be true. A “parent,” who may not be a real parent of a student in actuality, is concerned about campus safety for their own special white snowflake of a child who may now be threatened because Trump won the election. Motherfucking please…
(I said before, I don’t coddle white people and I’m not about to coddle Trump supporters in my teaching either. I will be open, inclusive, and kind, but I will not coddle, and honoring this inane accusation with any seriousness would be coddling — especially since the student has never expressed any safety issues on record. It’s all funnelled through other parties. There’s no proof of an actual complaint to be mediated.)
Moreover, the investigator is now reporting that she has submitted a preliminary draft of her findings in this investigation, while simultaneously I have students contacting me to say that said investigator knowingly contacted them outside their stated availability, and never responded to further attemtps at contact. So if she submitted her report without talking to the students that can dispute the complaint (that didn’t even come from a student, but from a parent’s ideas of what might have happened in class), am I just being railroaded with no hope?
At every single turn I’ve been hindered, stymied, outright blocked. And then the second a preliminary report on the investigation has been turned in — one that may or may not (and not seems more than likely since many have contacted me saying they couldn’t get in touch with the investigator after she knowingly contacted them at times she knew they weren’t available) include testimony from the tens of witnesses I provided in my defense — the report I couldn’t access is released to me. But with a suspect timeline and more questions than answers.
Something isn’t right. I can sense it. Something hasn’t been right during this entire series of events. Something hasn’t been right since 11/8/2016 when Trump took the lead in the Electoral College to be honest. The cultural shift has been swift and dire. But something isn’t right specifcially in the ways RUPD is trying to report this incident after the fact; to control a narrative that got escaped their initial control.
Perhaps the medical records I’ve requested from Bellevue can finally challenge this false narrative of voluntary submission. I never signed myself into the hospital — the NYPD did that. And so that record might finally cause their lies to fall apart. I’m not holding my breath though, as I’ve been blindsided at every turn. But somehow, somewhere, the actual facts have to prove an indisputable alibi…(I hope)…