Visiting Latinx student reports assault by DPS officer; Paxson and Latinx community respond

Around 12:30 a.m. Saturday morning outside Machado House, a senior delegate for this weekend’s Latinx Ivy League Conference was reportedly verbally harassed by two Department of Public Safety officers and then physically assaulted by one of the officers. Geovanni Cuevas, the student in question, was visiting from Dartmouth University and was staying in Machado House with a friend.

As a result of Cuevas’ experience, the Latinx Conference attendees cancelled planned events and discussions, and instead arranged an open meeting with President Christina Paxson P’19 and Mark Porter, Chief of Police for the Department of Public Safety. Following this meeting, both Russell Carey and President Paxson sent emails to the Brown community last night acknowledging the incident. Today, the Latinx Council convened again to discuss Paxson’s written plan for the University’s repsonse.

The meeting Saturday afternoon began at 1 p.m, with Paxson, Porter and Latinx delegates and supporters gathered in a crowded classroom in Salomon. Delegates formally presented Paxson with a list of demands to create a safe campus for students of color.

Paxson began by stating, “This will mainly be a time for listening, at least on my part.” Cuevas then gave the room his account of the incident outside Machado, explaining that he was “outside of the Machado party when a drunk student, stumbled outside.” Cuevas explained that the student “was confronted with flashlights and inappropriate touching” by the two DPS officers securing the event, “to which I had a very visceral response and said, ‘Hey, that’s inappropriate, you shouldn’t touch him like that.'”

The two officers then approached Cuevas and “proceeded to tell me that I was trespassing, despite the fact that I was a guest, hosted in that very house. As the situation escalated, I saw that my friends were uncomfortable, so I removed myself, but they told me I couldn’t come back to the house where I was being hosted. Obviously, I said that’s not going to happen, I’m sleeping here.”

When Cuevas went back in to the party through the back door, and went downstairs to find his host, he recalls that he “caught the attention of the security guard who was there.”  “Before I could even utter a sentence, I was grabbed, thrown up against the wall, thrown to the floor, told I was resisting when I wasn’t, scrapped on my face, told I was going to get pepper-sprayed,” he explained. “I was handcuffed and taken outside Machado, and detained there, until Brown students could come and verify my identity.”

Delegates of the Latinx Ivy League Conference then explained that the goal of their conference is “to empower the Latino students who have overcome cultural and structural challenges to attend Ivy League institutions.” Every year, around 80 students from these universities congregate to discuss “difficult topics that include race, gender, and socioeconomic factors effecting the Latino community in the United States.” However, the delegates had suspended the discussion of this year’s theme, Unity through Generations: the Past, Present and Future of Latino Leadership, to instead draft a list of demands for President Paxson.

“One of our delegates suffered violence at the hands of law enforcement hired by Brown. This incident recalls a longer history of institutionalized violence against communities of color,” said one Latinx delegate. The demands for President Paxson included:

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WTF happened in Jo’s on Saturday night?

In what can only be described as an episode of Cops: Brown Edition, a student was arrested on Saturday night after an altercation with police. It seems as though the intoxicated student thought the BDS worker was a little too slow dishing out snacks during an otherwise uneventful impromptu Jo’s rager. The student was pinned to the ground by police officers after he refused to leave Jo’s when asked to do so.

While we were hoping that a DPS crime report would help inform us about what went down, our parent publication has picked up the slack; see this web update by The Herald for more information.

Thanks, DPS

Presumably aboard a T3 Motion Scooter, Brown DPS just sent an e-mail this afternoon to the campus about safety during reading period/finals. While I know they’re just trying to be helpful, I can’t help but think that some of their advice will be misconstrued:

Trust your instincts.
If your head says no, but your body says yes, just go with it.

Pay attention to your surroundings.
If you’re walking to the V-Dub, don’t forget to stop at Spiritus on the way.

Stay in populated, well-lit areas.
Raves are good.  Libraries, not so much.

There is safety in numbers.
If somebody else is doing something, it’s OK. Remember, it’s not illegal if an entire posse is violating the law.

Post- Editors’ Top 10: Ways to balance the budget

1. Shrink Katherine Bergeron’s “bedazzle my cape” fund.

2. Downgrade the CIT’s furnished atrium from MTC Cribs-worthy to semi-luxyry.

3. Hey, let’s give List to RISD.

4. Stop funding the Indy. Lord knows they need the controversy.

5. Ruth Simmons could share some of her monies.

6. Bake(d!!) sale.

7. Fire three deans. give Alice a raise.

8. Replace omelet line with umlaut line. Bëëf Tips: It’s what’s for dinner.

9. Cut Safewalk; walk dangerously.

10. Get rid of DPS Segways, replace them with pogo sticks.

For even more snark, check out today’s Post-!

ProJo: ‘Peeping Tom’ suspect found

Has the Wriston peeping Tom been found?

The Providence Journal reports today that a Woonsocket man has been detained after allegedly impersonating a public utilities worker to gain access to Goddard House:

The police say Justin A. Álvarez, 20, of Loring Street, Woonsocket, is connected to four similar incidents in which a man gained entry into women’s bathroom and shower areas and tried to photograph female students in the shower.

The Herald first broke the peeping Tom story in March, when a female student told police that “a college-age guy” entered Diman House and photographed her while in the shower. About a month later, The Herald reported a similar incident in Sears House, this time by someone described as “a male with a light complexion; possibly white or Hispanic approximately five feet six inches tall, lean build, dark hair, cut short, with a week’s worth of facial hair growth” by the Department of Public Safety.

DPS Chief Mark Porter later said the second incident was “not related” to the first, though this latest development seems to call that into question.

Look for Herald coverage of the incident later this week.