Columbia University Teachers College’s delay in turning over videotape evidence relating The Noose to the police. I’ve copied the full text below.
COLUMBIA’S ATTITUDE PROBLEM
October 12, 2007—Columbia University’s Teachers College has an odd way of showing its supposed outrage over the placing of a noose on a black professor’s door.
The college kept NYPD investigators cooling their heels for more than 48 hours before turning over video evidence deemed critical to the investigation.
“Policy,” said a school spokesman.
The school finally turned the tapes over yesterday—after a subpoena was issued and after the media started reporting on Columbia’s non-cooperation.
Here’s the timeline:
* The noose was found hanging on the doorknob of Prof. Madonna Constantine’s office at 9:15 a.m. Tuesday.
* By 11 a.m., cops from the 26th Precinct were on campus.
* They immediately called in the NYPD’s hate-crimes unit.
* The unit swiftly identified seven security cameras as useful to the probe.
Then the stonewalling began.
* When the NYPD requested the relevant tapes, officers were told that the technician who had that responsibility wouldn’t be in until the next day.
* By Wednesday afternoon, with no tech in sight, Deputy Inspector Michael Osgood, the hate-crimes squad chief, put in a call to the Teachers College general counsel, Janice Robinson, to expedite delivery. She told him he’d need a subpoena because of “privacy” concerns.
* A subpoena was issued at midnight Wednesday, to no immediate effect.
* At 3 p.m. yesterday, after the Associated Press first reported on the college’s footdragging, and with the subpoena in effect, Teachers College announced sweetly that “in the spirit of cooperation, we are giving [the police] everything.”
Let’s not mince words.
Teachers College administrators’ refusal to tender voluntary assistance to the NYPD in this matter is inexplicable.
At best, it shows yet again the contempt Columbia University as a whole has for the community in which it resides, and into which it seeks to expand.
Whether there are darker motives will become clear as the 56 hours of tapes are studied by police.
Either way, apologies are in order.