Below please find the text from the March 9th, 2018 Yale Campus Police Report that I filed with Officer Grace Schenkle, regarding everything that had occurred up until that point with respect to the Living or Napping While Black Hate Crime Hoax at Yale. There are a few minor errors in this report, but it is largely correct, and Officer Schenkle was very kind to me. I do not believe that the few minor errors are anything other than simple human error. Officer Schenkle had her body camera in operation during our interview, so it will always be possible to go back to the video to determine what I actually said, if need be. Here is the text:
On 03/09/18 at 1602 hours, I met with Sarah Braasch (GRAD ’20) in the meeting room at the lobby of the Yale Police Department, 101 Ashmun Street, to discuss her concerns with regards to a previous complaint of a suspicious person at the Hall of Graduate Studies, 320 York Street, originally reported to the Yale Police Department on 02/24/18.
Upon meeting Braasch, she introduced herself and told me she is a fourth year Yale Graduate student in the philosophy department and primarily works out of the Yale Law School and the Old Campus for her classes and studies. She also told me she is a licensed attorney who specializes in Civil Rights Law and works with various law groups at the Yale Law School.
Braasch currently resides at the Hall of Graduate Studies, 320 York Street, Room 1201. This room is located in the HGS tower and is a “stand-alone” residential room on the twelfth floor. There is one room across from hers, Room 1200, which is the HGS Graduate Housing Common Room. This room remains locked and is only accessible by residents with their “building key” either from the door at this entry area or a door in an adjacent stairwell. The elevator and a narrow staircase is also in this space. It is a small area, only two to three people, standing close to one another, could fit in this area at one time.
The residential areas HGS are only accessible with key access, including access to the common rooms, hallways, stairwells, and the elevator. Any person not residing in these rooms should be escorted by their resident host.
On 02/24/18, Braasch had been waiting alone on the first floor of HGS for the elevator to the tower. When the elevator arrived to the floor, an unknown male walked by her and entered the elevator just before her. Unaware if he was a resident, she said she waited a moment for him to use his “resident” key to activate the elevator but he did nothing. She then used her key and pressed the button for the twelfth floor. She asked him what floor he was going to and he said the twelfth. She said they did not speak during the rest of the elevator ride. When she got off the elevator, she did not feel comfortable entering her room with an unknown person beside her so she walked down the stairs to the eleventh floor. She said she waited a moment and then walked up the other tower stairwell and entered the common room from that entry door. She noted the common room was dark and empty. She stood quietly near the Room 1201 door, which is directly across from her room, to listen if the man had left the area. She exited the common room and walked towards her room when she saw the man standing on the stairwell landing between floors 11 and 12. He asked her if she knew where the common room was located. She told him it is the room she had just exited and that it I empty and dark and did not look like there was any event taking place. She told him if he did not belong there, he should leave and the room can be accessed by residents with a key. He told her he was a student. Braasch said she told him he was “making her nervous and uncomfortable”, and he responded by “scoffing” at her remark, turning his head to the side and sighing. She then entered her room, leaving him on the stairwell landing. A few minutes later, she contacted the Yale PD to report a suspicious person. (Yale PD Dispatch confirmed the call came in on 02/24/18 at 1721 hours.)
She said she started by telling the dispatcher she didn’t know if this call needed the police to respond. (YPD Dispatch told me the dispatch was for a suspicious person in the HGS tower at the eleventh or twelfth floor. The man was described as a 25yo black male wearing a long black puffy coat and blue jeans.) The dispatcher told her they would send police officers to check out the area. (Yale PD Officers responded to area and since it was determined the man was a Yale student and a guest of a HGS resident, no report was written.)
Braasch said approximately forty-five minutes to an hour after she had contacted the Yale PD, a gathering had taken place at the common room across the hall. She heard a few groups of two or three people speaking loudly, using obscenities, and mocking her. One would say, “You’re making me nervous,” while another would respond, “Watch out, she’ll call the police.” The comments were repeated two or three times by different people over a thirty minute time frame and they were probably waiting to leave on the elevator while they were doing this. She believes the man who she had seen earlier had been at the gathering in the common room and told the attendees about their interaction which in turn incited their comments. She said there were no direct threats or any knocking on her door but, at that time, she felt “trapped”, “harassed”, and was afraid to leave her room since she wanted to avoid confrontation. She did not reply to them and remained in her room with the door closed. Braasch does not know who the people were or how many people had been at the gathering in the common room. While this was happening, Braasch sent an email to her HGS Housing Coordinators, Ester Sosa and Grant (unknown last name), advising them of the suspicious person incident and her current situation where she felt she could not leave her room. Sosa responded to her via email and told her she had spoken to the man, his HGS resident host, and the Yale PD and that the man is a Yale student. Grant did not respond.
Over the weekend, Braasch contacted Beth Bishop, and Kate St. Marie, both from Yale Graduate Housing via email. She expressed her general concerns of resident safety, visitor access and events in Room 1201, and the specific incidents that had occurred on 02/24/18. On 02/26/18, Braasch met in person with Bishop and St. Marie who told her they “would handle this” with the residents and parties involved.
On 03/02/18, Braasch met with George Longyear, Director of Yale Graduate Housing, and Grant, the HGS Housing Coordinator. During this meeting, Longyear told her the man she had encountered on 02/24/18, wrote a letter which implies that her behavior is motivated by racial animus and also implies that the response by the Yale PD was also motivated by racial animus. He wanted her to be aware that it had been distributed to Yale Deans. She states she would never behave in any manner motivated by racial animus. She asked Longyear for a copy of the letter which he did not produce for her. She believes this letter may be defaming her character.
On 03/05/18 and 03/07/18, Braasch sent emails to Longyear, Bishop, and St. Marie requesting a copy of the letter sent to Yale Deans. Longyear responded, via email, for her to send her request to Yale Dean Michelle Nearon, Graduate Student Development and Diversity. On 03/07/18 and 03/08/18, Nearon responded, via email, stating she is “looking very carefully into the details of concern and will get back to you next week”.
On 03/07/18, Braasch sent an email to the Yale PD requesting a possible meeting to discuss her concerns. On 03/08/18, Lt. Logan corresponded with her and advised her to come to the Yale PD on 03/09/18 to voice her concerns.
Braasch said she has had no contact or correspondence with the man she encountered on 02/24/18 or any other person, other than those stated in this report, regarding any of incidents on 02/24/18. She said she is upset this letter may be defaming her character and Yale’s response to her concerns. She may pursue legal options civilly with regards to the letter.
BWC was in use.
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