Update 7:40pm Eastern. And now…anti-Semitic graffiti found in a Columbia bathroom stall:
Anti-Semitic graffiti was found on a bathroom stall in Lewisohn Hall earlier today, University officials reported. The incident occurred only two days after a noose was found hanging on the door of an African American professor at Teachers College and just over two weeks after Islamophobic graffiti was found in a bathroom stall in the International Affairs Building.
Dare I question the timing?
Must be all those evil racist Minutemen infiltrating campus, right?
Bathroom stalls and racist graffiti. Rings a dubious bell.
Update 6:55pm Eastern. Wow. This story gets ever more interesting. NYDN now reports:
After stonewalling cops for more than 24 hours, Columbia University has agreed to hand over security tapes that could help ID the person who left a hangman’s noose on a black professor’s office door.
The Ivy League school initially told cops they needed a subpoena to get a look at security tapes from Teachers College and the names of students in Professor Madonna Constantine’s classes.
Cops then spent hours putting together the legal paperwork and getting a judge to sign off on the court order around midnight last night, they said.
They were about to serve the subpoena on Columbia when the university flip-flopped – after getting media inquiries – and agreed to hand over 56 hours of tape.
“It’s unfortunate because it adds a time-consuming step to the investigation,” Deputy Commissioner Paul Browne said of Columbia’s refusal to assist the investigation voluntarily.
Columbia spokeswoman Diane Dobry refused to answer questions about the delay, issuing a statement that said only: “We are giving the tapes to the police.”
Yup, looks like CYA.
Update: Weird things are afoot. This report says Columbia is giving the tapes over and that the Associated Press was wrong.
AP getting things wrong wouldn’t be surprising.
But CYA from Columbia wouldn’t be surprising, either.
Curiouser and curiouser.
I’ve been watching the noose-hanging story unfold at Columbia University with great interest. This does not surprise me:
Columbia University has refused to turn over security videotape that could help identify who hung a noose on a black professor’s office door, police said Thursday.
Investigators began asking on Wednesday for tapes from cameras in the building, but have been rebuffed by administrators, said Paul Browne, the New York Police Department’s top spokesman.
He said police will have to get a court order to force the school to provide video they believe could crack the case.
“It’s unfortunate because it adds a time-consuming step to the investigation,” Browne said.
A Columbia spokesman did not immediately return a request for comment.
Authorities were testing the 4-foot-long twine noose for DNA evidence, but had no suspects as of Thursday morning.
On Wednesday, the professor who was the target of the attack, Madonna Constantine, told hundreds of faculty and students at a rally on the Ivy League campus that the incident was a “blatant act of racism” that “reeks of cowardice and fear.”
“I’m upset that our community has been exposed to such an unbelievably vile incident,” she said.
Police believe the noose was placed on the doorknob of Constantine’s office at Teachers College—Columbia’s graduate school of education—Tuesday morning, when a colleague spotted it and notified authorities.
Police declined to discuss possible motives or suspects.
Why else would Columbia refuse to cooperate with law enforcement officers trying to get to the bottom of the case?
Help me out here. Maybe I’m missing something.
Just to bring you up to speed if you haven’t followed the case:
A black Columbia University professor targeted by a hangman’s noose delivered a defiant message during a protest rally Wednesday: “I will not be silent.” A day after the racist symbol was left dangling on her office door, Madonna Constantine was greeted by raucous cheers of support at Teachers College. “Hanging a noose on my door reeks of cowardice and fear,” said Constantine, who teaches psychology and education and has written on racism. “I want the perpetrator to know I will not be silent.”
…Cops were conducting DNA tests on the noose, a 4-foot length of hand-tied twine. They also planned to question some of Constantine’s colleagues, including Prof. Suniya Luthar. Police sources said Constantine and Luthar crossed swords over a plum assignment at the university, but stressed that Luthar was not a suspect. In May, Constantine filed suit in Manhattan Supreme Court seeking damages of $100,000 from Luthar for defamation.
…Constantine was not at work Tuesday morning when the noose was spotted by Prof. Marie Miville, who called it a “vile act.” Miville ran to get Constantine’s research partner, Derald Wing Sue, who felt his blood boil when he saw what was hanging from his colleague’s door. “I was angry and outraged. I knew immediately what it was all about in terms of racial hatred,” he said. He called security and then phoned Constantine, so she wouldn’t be caught off-guard when she arrived. “All I could hear was this long pause, silence at the end of the phone,” he said.
GWU’s leftist hoax crime update: What will the administration do?
Unhinged: The Mugshot Collection [scroll down to Kerri Dunn]