Overview: Danger Awaits

  • As you will see in the story below, despite telling students to look after each other and call for help, UVA does not take alcohol poisoning seriously either at the hospital or when calling 911
  • Antiquated policing means that patients desperate for help are instead treated like criminals, even animals, endangering their lives--UVA stands behind this behavior
  • Untrained police acting as doctors are primary medical response, deciding whether people go to jail or get medical treatment, even overruling requests for care--THIS MUST STOP NOW
  • Police make this decision based on the COMPLIANCE of a person not in his/her right mind often with doctors or EMS present who should be making the call based on MEDICINE
  • Incompetent/illegal policing of persons unable to comply escalates into injuries and "crimes" caused by police, "crimes" that have virtually no remedy under VA law
  • UVA contributes to this situation by encouraging students to call 911 based on misleading information and outright lies
  • Hundreds of students make contact with UPD each year, increasing the chance for disaster--it's time that everyone knows what a Gordie Call is and how to handle it
  • UVA claims the jail provides medical care; as will be seen in the jail episode, what it provides is rudimentary at best
  • UVA blames victims, bullies students, fails to properly conduct investigations, and breaks the law to protect itself at the expense of students
  • UVA is totally opaque to students and parents looking for information, refusing to release reports, provide data, or even meet
  • No accountability exists and no offices of the State of VA have any interest or care in addressing such problems, and so do not
  • As with recent events at Michigan State or USC, complaints and incidents are ignored with no regard for individuals until they become big problems
  • UVA has learned nothing from past experiences like Pat Collins, Hannah Graham, Morgan Harrington, Johnathon Perkins, Martese Johnson and more
Cops acting like doctors

EP1: UVA Medical Center Refuses Entrance

  • Jessie's heroic classmate Audrey, fearing the worst, took an Uber to the hospital and dragged her to the main entrance--finding it locked, she pounded on the door to alert people inside
  • Amazingly, persons in scrubs came to the door and told her to go to the ER on their own, making no effort to assist them or call anyone, and setting the stage for disaster
  • Due to poor signage and the lack of assistance, the women actually went down the hill away from the nearby ER
  • UVA deleted the surveillance footage of this interaction and ignored a court order to provide it... clear obstruction of justice
  • UVA was also subpoenaed for witnesses and made no known effort to provide the names of the persons in scrubs
  • Neither Sutton-Wallace nor Shannon, leadership of the medical center, replied to requests to meet or address this matter
  • UVA has not made improvements to signage as promised a year ago
  • To our knowledge, UVA has taken no action to train staff on how to aid people outside the hospital needing help
  • More people get arrested outside the hospital than anywhere else... other than executing warrants on patients, we are investigating why this is
Scrubs refuse students request to enter UVA Medical Center

EP2: ECC Comms Officer Nicole Grecco

  • Unable to carry her any further, Jessie's classmate collapses on the grass near Primary Care, and calls 911, politely asking for assistance inside to the ER (More for sound tracks)
  • When Nicole's questions are not answered right away, she raises her voice at the exhausted caller and asks if her friend's been drinking-- she does not bother to ask if she's breathing
  • The key tenets of dispatch in order are get location, determine nature of emergency/status of victim, learn approximate age, and keep caller online until info is collected--this is not how you handle a person in distress
  • 911 Audio
  • Having worked the caller into a frenzy, and caused her to hang up, Nicole's first call is not to Medcom or the hospital per protocol, but to UP56 informing him that a woman is screaming outside the hospital--he is the furthest from the scene and such an intro does not bode well
  • She does, nevertheless, inform him that the caller's trying to get her friend into the ER
  • She does not call rescue, waiting over 5 minutes until UP48 requests rescue... the patient could have been dead by then
  • Finally Nicole asks if breathing, and if alcohol involved
  • She then sets the call at "assist citizen," which defaults to Priority 3, "no immediate assistance required" with no medical info whatsoever, totally inappropriate if no competing resource constraints, yet apparently standard procedure for alcohol calls
  • Here's another track with an intox case at the same location--note again dispatch does not ask if breathing, but goes right to sending police and asking for a description like it's a manhunt--the call is saved by Medcom being notified immediately, by medics arriving first, and by a sober bystander waiting with the person--exactly why police should not be responding to medical calls as the primary
  • And one more with a person of authority calling (Dorm RA) and proper dispatching--thankfully this is the way most calls originate... interestingly no one gets arrested in UVA dorms, only sent to the UJC for illegal possession as in this case

EP3: UVA Sets False Expectations

  • Stall journals as pictured are everywhere... combined with freshman training, the message is call 911 for help if you have even the slightest doubt about your own or others' safety
  • This is as it should be--safety first--especially as UVA hosts the Gordie Center, an institution at the forefront of reducing alcohol consumption and getting bystanders to call 911 without fear of prosecution
  • Unfortunately, UVA 911 does not deliver appropriate service, especially with police being the primary responders, and UVA is taking the safety effort BACKWARDS
  • The text of the green box shown is nearly all a lie... the hospital scans for warrants (if you can get in), police response often results in arrest instead of care when no sober person is on scene, and police ALWAYS run names through NCIS and follow up with the ODOS, not for "safety," but to file disciplinary standards violations with the UJC
  • You can see how Audrey's expectation of anonymous care at the hospital where she never expected to be "in public," caused her frustration with 911 and all that follows
  • UVA Asst University Counsel Meek never responded as to why police are sent as first responders to medical calls as promised a year ago
  • The reason seems pretty clear--in order to bring charges and/or disciplinary action
  • They should be there to support EMS and ensure their safety only
  • The latest SSJ has added some information that "Staying present and cooperating with emergency personnel may protect against legal trouble..."
  • The HOO Knew? warning from the survey in this section is a propos "Most UVA students call 911 (or ensure someone else calls) if a friend is showing signs of overdose"
  • The "social norms programming at UVA" on the main SSJ page is something UVA might want to consider appying to UPD and UVA staff who are way out of sync with cultural norms
  • It still trumpets that calling 911 results in police response to assist with care-- sending police as medical response is nonsensical
  • If the issue is cost, send specially trained security with additional medical skills to triage
  • The planned new health center would be a perfect safe place for students to go/bring friends to for help, for security to bring students in need of detox, and to provide counseling as well as discipline for repeat offenders
  • What you never do is throw someone in jail and give them a chance to die
Student Health Stall Seat Journal How to Help a Friend

EP4: UP48 Officer Ayo Oke

  • UP48 was first on the scene... Audrey was no doubt shocked to see a police officer when already at the hospital... UVA needs to stop sending police as primary responders to medical calls, especially ones focused on ID which every person on the planet associates with doing something wrong
  • He graduated from the Academy in 2016 and had only about a year on the job
  • He made the decision to block the girls from going to the ER and detained them on the bench despite an immediate request for help walking to the hospital
  • He stated that he detained the students for the purpose of getting medical rescue, and because he thought having rescue would be faster than walking to the ambulance entrance
  • Having thus detained them, he is required by law to get them medical help which he calls for
  • This is not a traffic stop or suspicious activity... this is a 911 call made by Jess's friend for assistance into the hospital... yet police interrogate them like criminals and write reports trying to make it look like a common Drunk in Public (DIP) crime
  • Oke's list of mistakes on this call goes on and on (see More), but his biggest was listening to his "veteran" colleague in all respects including lying on his police report--he knew his job was to get them to the hospital
  • Why UP48 thinks calling rescue will be faster than entering the ER is unclear--UVA Emergency Department Director Dr. Riordan refused to address why this might be along with other questions
  • Police reports written by the officers seek to make this look like a crime (see report in Even More below)... this is the problem with police reponses to medical events, especially when they screw up
  • Oke had some good instincts... build rapport and collect information, chase Jess down so she wouldn't get hurt, tell her she was going to the ER even after the incidental contact to his face--unfortunately his colleague negated them at every step
  • Biggest mistakes... lecturing on cursing to a panicky Samaritan, following Smallwood's lead turning an assist into interrogation, not explaining what was happening, letting Medic V put Jess in a wheelchair after she repeatedly refused care, losing his temper the way he did (never OK for someone with a gun), doing a "take-down" on a person who needed medical care, failing to take time to cool off before making decisions, listening to Smallwood to make an illegal arrest when he had no idea what for, joining Smallwood to tell Audrey to go home alone, charging a felony for incidental contact that "didn't hurt" and was entirely a result of the teams' failure to do their jobs
  • Oke is no longer with department despite being a new recruit... UVA refuses to reveal the reason for his departure
  • Even More
UVA UP48 Oke

EP5: UP56 Officer Scott Smallwood

  • This individual has no business serving as police officer on a college campus, or frankly anywhere
  • That Smallwood thinks he can overrule a call for assistance into the ER is exactly why police have no business dealing with patients--there is no scenario where students simply asking for a hand inside the hospital should be so abused
  • His handling of this incident is a case study in what NOT to do at every juncture
  • Events would have proceeded far differently had he not arrived with his in-your-face, give-me-ID, shove'em-around, escalate-the-situation ignorance--he has no idea how to manage an intoxicated person and is very dangerous
  • He is used to engaging in this kind of behavior, empowered by the Commonwealth Attorney and University Judiciary Committee which take police reports at face value and encourage excessive deference to police who have essentially no oversight
  • No one calls these actions to account because people he arrests are embarrassed and traumatized, not to mention wanting their degree, so they don't make waves
  • His disrespect for the person calling for help is astounding, and his effort to separate her from her friend and send her off alone is just beyond belief
  • Examples of what happens when young persons are allowed to go alone into the night... there are thousands like this: Hannah Graham, Morgan Harrington, UVA student, Nicholas Sepehri; THIS MUST CHANGE -- Neither officers nor friends should ever, ever, ever let anyone go it alone
  • That both officers made special note of the "disorderly conduct" of the Samaritan shows a profound lack of empathy, knowledge, professionalism, and familiarity with the community served
  • Smallwood clearly has Oke make a false arrest--you can't be arrested for "refusing" medical treatment without the capacity to make a decision--which both officers emphatically stated repeatedly... that a UPD IA investigation cleared this and other obvious violations indicates deep problems
  • When Smallwood arrives, he doesn't bother to say hello, how are you, how much has she had to drink, are you UVA students or even what's your name?
  • Clearly this is how he rolls--all his previous charges/testimony should be looked into (UPD declined to provide his years on force)
  • Veteran cops like this misleading younger officers is why policing doesn't improve; pushing Oke to make an arrest when he can barely breathe and is telling Nelson she's going to the ER is amazing... and of course not in his report (Select Even More button below)
  • That Smallwood has to say "You're not going to jail, you're going to the hospital" is yet another reason why police should not be responding to medical calls
  • "We're just trying to ID her for rescue"-- a policy of sending cops to ID people for rescue when a huge portion of calls are for underage/DIP drinking emergencies again makes one wonder what is going on with UVA management
  • See Even More for more incredible Smallwood quotes and his police report
  • Even More

EP6: UVA Medic V Team Herndon and Calvo

  • The unforgettable image of Herdon and Calvo yelling "shut up" at the student who brought Jess to the hospital as she begs yet again for help inside in response to Smallwood telling Oke to take Jess to jail... and this after they completely botched the "rescue"
  • That medics would put a person in a wheelchair who was unconscious minutes earlier is appalling, as are the police that let them... UVA doesn't even put a seat belt on patients
  • The correct procedure was to put such a patient on a stretcher/sit up stretcher... amazingly, Medic V does not even have any stretcher available at the hospital
  • Standard procedure at an incident is for police to control the scene and EMS to handle the patient--not at UVA...
  • police make the decision to take a person AWAY from the hospital based on "sober enough to run" while medics stand aside in the face of obvious extreme alchohol poisoning
  • "Seriously, how old are you" was the closest Medic V came to doing its job and stepping in to insist on treatment
  • This focus on age before any medical information is collected is puzzling; while the desire to know age for consent etc. is understandable, the fact that no medical checks are done is disturbing; if a person was bleeding on the ground would they be asking age first, or is this just more discrimination based on alcohol?
  • The situation outside the hospital is a perfect example of where taking a step back, letting some time pass, allowing things to cool off--standard for modern policing--could have salvaged a bad situation, including getting age and actually hearing that she thinks she doesn't need treatment--instead Smallwood once again escalates
  • Every "professional" on the scene should have known that refusal is not grounds for arrest and hospital policy and dept policies are to get an ECO for a person without capacity and in need of care--a doctor or EMS is supposed to make that call--POLICE ACTING LIKE DOCTORS MUST END
  • The reason they all seem OK with how things played out and seem to have no clue how to handle someone refusing care is the unwritten "go to the hospital or go to jail policy"--THIS ALSO MUST END--when you call, you get competent medical help, not charged with crimes--if you don't need medical help, you get a ride home or detox, not jail
  • Here is the sleepy Medcom person on the phone... as sleepy as the response (note also that Nicole identifies herself as from the police department, not ECC)
  • The response time for Calvo and Herndon is 8 minutes to come 75 yards... the average time in Cville for Albemarle County Rescue (UVA didn't respond as usual) is 6 minutes, and in rural areas, 12 minutes--shameful and further indicative of the general lackadaisical response to alcohol poisoning calls
  • The icing on the cake is Medic V providing maid service to UPD to protect its cruiser with bed linens and to the Uber driver to disinfect his car while the patient goes to jail and lies on the jail floor in cuffs for over an hour and gets a chance to choke in her own vomit overnight
  • UVA has learned nothing from this incident and taken no remedial measures

EP7: Albemarle County Regional Jail

  • There are two components to the jail--the booking area/sally port and the jail proper
  • In the booking area there are no rules about making phone calls... a policy should exist and signs be posted
  • As with most of this incident, mismatched expectations created problems, in this case of a right to a phone call vs what police perceive as being disorderly
  • The right to not talk without a lawyer present vs police expectations of providing information for booking is the same problem
  • UPD left Nelson lying on the floor with hands cuffed behind her back for over an hour bringing the total time in cuffs to around two hours... this is inhumane and a CALEA/policy violation
  • The jail has a nurse on duty but does not check BAC for four hours after intake, nor do they take pulse, temperature, or provide water automatically--this is not safe
  • Four hours is considered the miniumum amount of time needed to sober up... it took Jess nearly 14 HOURS and 4 tries to pass a breathalyzer test, meaning damage to her organs may have resulted from dehydration and she should have been in the hospital
  • When called to check on Jess a nurse did nothing but look at her from six feet away through a closed door--this is not care
  • The jail has 14 intox beds that are often full of students... they are not watched by video nor is any life-monitoring medical device used
  • Personnel walk around to check on inmates... they didn't discover Jess lying in vomit that could have killed her
  • The Dean's Office telling parents that students are getting care at the jail is grossly misleading
  • Protocol here is also in need of reworking
  • The jail did not respond to form-submitted email requesting number of people who died, were injured, or were transported to the hospital from custody
  • Contact forms should not be acceptable for government-funded bodies unless a copy is sent to your email box which confirms receipt and provides a return email to begin a thread

EP8: UVA Dean of Students Office Groves, Pattie, Caruccio

  • Our first message to ODOS was to Groves... he was on vacation; at no time did he ever respond to us or think it worth his time to meet us about how this could happen
  • We were instead directed to Marsh Pattie who met us, was very polite, confirmed that the 911 call was made per policy and that all the responses were normal and appropriate...that EMS personnel had been on the scene and care was provided at the jail... we begged to differ and asked for an investigation and that all video be preserved (it wasn't)
  • We first heard of the "go to jail or go home/go to the hospital" policy from Pattie--it is not written anywere, but is clearly the on-the-ground policy as we heard it multiple times from various people
  • That UVA is sending police officers to 911 medical calls, as well as students they encounter, and asking kids nearly always incapable of doing any mental calculation if they want jail, hospital, or home is just incredible... ironically, Jess was never even asked
  • Pattie asked us to email him with what we thought we needed to investigate; his response was essentially that this was now a criminal matter and to contact the CA and /or Barry Meek in the Office of University Counsel (OUC)
  • He also presented himself as the point of contact to which we objected based on his level of seniority and conflict based on ODOS prosecution of Jess for UJC Standards violations
  • UVA never made any effort to investigate this matter, making us submit a complaint (see EP 13)
  • Our requests for a serious investigation that might have led to reports that would exonerate the students based on improper hospital, police, and medic actions fell on deaf ears... UVA feels no responsibility to conduct such inquiries
  • Dean on Call Julie Caruccio did not call parents for five days despite Jess having a serious medical condition and being arrested for a FELONY which would require bail
  • Her colleague called Jess's friend's parents almost immediately; this policy has now been changed to notifying parents of tax dependents right away
  • At her meeting with Jess, she was informed that they were trying to get help at the hospital and that Jess didn't think she was treated well or fairly...the response was that UPD was "not that good" but that she should still take responsibility for her actions
  • When a student brings up problems with UVA staff, they should be looked into, not ignored or shrugged off
  • No one other than Pattie ever responded to us until Meek (see EP 9) much later after it was too late, and further meetings were derailed by legalistic approaches--if you think all this is purely a matter for a court of law, see EP 10
  • The ODOS website is full of all the happy things ODOS does for students... no mention is made that it prosecutes Standards violations--this conflict needs to be made apparent
  • No one at UVA is operating in the student's court including the ombudsman who is mostly a traffic director--students rights are supported only by hiring expensive lawyers when UVA makes mistakes--this needs to change
Original Photo Credits: https://vpsa.virginia.edu/staff; https://twitter.com/marshpattie; https://www.semesteratsea.org/faculty-and-staff/julie-caruccio/

EP9: Office of University Counsel Barry Meek

  • We were passed to Meek by ODOS... he was also in charge of replying to our lawyer's subpoenas
  • He missed the subpoena deadline by a month, supplying only part of the requested materials just 3 hours after Jess was forced to plead guilty without ever getting to see video of the incident--there was plenty of time to respond before 12 August happened, the excuse used
  • This indifference to students as a priority and throwing its weight around is typical--OUC also did not respond in writing to Senator Deeds' request for info and took its time making a short phone call
  • He sent email to our counsel suggesting that requested video was already in the CA's file so a subpoena was unnecessary; Oke's video was not in the file, nor was surveillance video
  • UPD refused to provide the surveillance video of the girls at the hospital entrance (which involved simply including 10 minutes before what it did provide) and later claimed it did not exist--it is unclear whether the UPD deleted the footage on its own, or were directed by OUC
  • I met Meek twice, once in December 2017 after he provided some information I requested, and once in February 2018 at Longo's Forum on Community Policing
  • The first meeting he was defensive and not much was accomplished other than airing grievances and complimenting Jessie's track skills
  • The second meeting I thought we might actually be getting somewhere and that we had agreed on some action items (See Even More button for items)
  • The initial items were improving signage at the hospital with decals on the front door, researching the history and rational for sending police to medical events, exploring training to make responders better able to handle chemically impaired students, and relief for Jess so she didn't have to spend her time on community service instead of her studies as well as looking at her coerced criminal conviction
  • This turned out to be false hope as he did nothing on the list and didn't reply to messages
  • It's clear his job is to defend the University... he seems to be the point guy for people UVA thinks messed up...he contributes to the effort to have students take responsibility... anyone but UVA and its staff
  • He made a peculiar comment about the "community" and how UPD serves more than just UVA--his meaning seemed to be that UVA can't do special things for students, that having some students arrested kept things looking fair; any suggestion I was looking for special treatment is abhorrent
  • How about treating the entire community with respect and serving medical events with EMS and police backup that know what they're doing with a focus on not arresting people unnecessarily?
  • UVA is making a huge miscalculation on failing to listen to parents and students and making changes only based on lawsuits and crises--when the bill comes due on these errors it will be in blood and millions
  • UVA is now offering a degree in public safety, rather comical given the performance of its own first responders--it's time to lead not obstruct
  • Even More
Original Photo Credit: https://twitter.com/uvahealthnews/status/814674943900348416

EP10: Charlottesville Commonwealth Attorney's Office Chapman and Killeen

  • Having been blown away by how these students were handled by UVA and the jail, we now got to face the VA "justice" system
  • Getting basic evidence to defend oneself is astoundingly difficult; VA is one of the worst states in the US for discovery with very narrow rules
  • Asst CA Killeen Libby Killeen was assigned to Jessie's case... our attorney asked her why Oke's video was not in the case file multiple times and got continuances to wait for it and other evidence
  • Killeen said that Oke told her there was video, but she didn't know where it was, and finally told our attorney that a deal to reduce a felony to a misdemeanor was not on the table forever
  • This threat put Jess, who blacked out, had almost no recollection of that night, and never believed she could have slapped a cop, in the position of having to make a decision to plead without all the evidence, something that should never happen especially with a felony and its life altering consequences (See EP 16 Platania below)
  • UVA's failure to provide Oke's video (either in the file or through the now two-week-late subpoena), along with footage of the girls asking for treatment at the hospital graphically proving that they never intended to be in public and needed help, short-circuited her ability to make a case to Killeen (see More)
  • I met Dave Chapman during my effort to gather reasons to reopen this case before the 60 day period to do so expired
  • We spoke for an hour or so to review video and discuss how we could be threatened in this manner... his first comment was "things went south fast here"--we agreed for totally opposite reasons
  • Chapman agreed to look into the matter with Killeen but never got back and then retired
  • If you think this whole issue should be a matter for the courts, see More
  • The way the legal system "works" these days, around 95% of cases are settled with plea agreements
  • You make your case with the CA, absent many of the protections one gets in a jury trial, who has tremendous power to enforce, reduce or eliminate charges
  • It is critical to be able to get evidence to make your case and provide context
  • UVA's built in conflict gives it no motivation to investigate its people, provide evidence against itself, or provide transparency to its private police force overseen by no elected officials, only hands-off education-oriented executives with little knowledge of law enforcement
  • Even with context, the focus tends to be on the "crime" not what led up to it, making it very risky to go to trial--even after getting the video, not one lawyer we talked with recommended appealing, a tremendous condemnation of what's acceptable policing in Cville
  • On top of this there are dozens of code clauses about assaulting any kind of public servant, not to mention the test for assault of "rude, angry, insulting, or vengeful" is very broad and subjective
  • All this is just another reason not to send police to medical events--crimes are created when the wrong tool is used for the job
  • Finally, DIP is big business for lawyers, the City, the Jail, etc.--further support for the status quo and more barriers for parents trying to afford college
Original Photo Credit: https://www.dailyprogress.com/news/local/chapman-looks-back-at-his-legal-career/article_b68a8228-0949-11e8-acc9-13a6c3f7a570.html

EP11: UVA Alumni President Jenifer Andrasko

  • Andrasko was a bright spot with a dark shadow as she wanted to help but apparently does not have the clout to do so
  • I met with her to see if she could help surmount the UVA wall of silence
  • She was warm, professional, responsive, and immediately commiserated with me noting that she also has children (something I was beginning to wonder if anyone working at UVA had)
  • We viewed video, I left her a copy, and she agreed this was worthy of the attention of top level management; she tried to get me a meeting with COO Hogan, to whom the police chief reported at the time, with the goal of getting a thorough investigation and making improvements
  • Even with her help and legal matters settled, Hogan was not willing to meet (nor is the current COO JJ Davis)
  • More recently, she does not respond to email from members of the alumni association, which is very disappointing
  • The alumni association has a crucial role to play as the conscience of UVA, a conduit to the school for alumni, and a check on the power of the University
  • It is important to learn to what degree if any her recent lack of response is due to pressure from the school
  • Parents also need an active association with the clout to be heard, and to work with student groups when warranted and needed
  • Gordie Center Director Susie Bruce was one of the first people I met (before I showed up on University Counsel's radar) after hearing what happened to Jess...she appears here also because of what appears to be an inability to help Susie Bruce Director The Gordie Center
  • I went to her after reading the Center website and its focus on getting bystanders to call 911 to help people in trouble--I couldn't reconcile what happened with this goal
  • She expressed amazement that the medical center and UPD could behave in such a manner... as someone sending hundreds of students to them, she should have followed up
  • The Gordie Center also has an important role to play in making sure that first responders are appropriately trained to handle chemically impaired students and the Samaritans calling on their behalf
  • As an important advocate for these persons, it is very disappointing that she does not reply to email--again if, how, and why UVA is shutting this down is important to understand
  • Certainly the threat of lawsuits is a factor, and I may even have thrown the s word around a couple of times, but only after getting nowhere--even where there are grounds for suits, principles should not choke to death in vomit--see University of MD case
Original Photo Credit: https://news.virginia.edu/content/leadership-expert-ex-navy-pilot-named-uva-alumni-associations-first-woman-president

EP12: UVA University Judiciary Committee Trial Chair Jack Brake and UJC

  • Having been just finished with the state "justice" system, we were called to the UJC horror show three days later from charges filed by Dean Caruccio based on the fictitious police reports
  • If you aren't familiar with the UJC and the UVA Standards, more is available here--suffice it to say, fellow students try violations of Standards, including charges brought by the Dean of Students derived from any arrest, with the power to punish, suspend, or expel
  • Safety. Respect. Freedom. Stewarding the UVA Community. Taking personal responsibility for UVA Culture--these are the headlines on the website
  • These words sound suspiciously like the "taking responsibility" line we heard over and over from various UVA paid staff, along with the "social norm" reprogramming going on at Student Health
  • This is not necessarily bad as long as the programming does not result only in blind respect for police and UVA personnel, with no balance to look critically at staff performance and respect for students (including whether staff are meeting policy and law)
  • Herein lies the problem--counselors are trained to look at everything from UVA's perspective... her counselor's words that it doesn't look good from the point of view of "being polite and compliant with police officers" sums it up (both were polite until they were poorly treated)
  • At no point did anyone think to examine whether hospital, police, or medics were compliant with policy or the law--that this UJC trial would never had happened had personnel done their job getting the students inside and UVA policy protecting privacy at the hospital been followed
  • In a UJC trial, students are represented by student counselors up against professional police officers, without access to evidence like UPD bodycam video unless they pay to subpoena it, and are only allowed to have actual representation sit quietly (rendering it useless)
  • Trial Chair Jack Brake refused to allow Jess to change wording in the investigator's report, insisting that she include wording that she slapped the officer or he would not accept it--a violation of student right number five--More below
  • The arrogance and lack of respect shown by the Trial Chair throughout the process and particularly in his appeal response has no place in a student organization or at UVA
  • There is so much wrong with the UJC it's hard to cover in one spot, more follows, but again the entire process needs some hard examination
  • Being treated as she was by fellow students who she expected to know UVA policies and be sympathetic was very hard--she wanted to drop out after
  • Having to plead guilty to state charges without access to evidence made it hard to plead innocent at UJC, which Jess really wanted to do
  • Like the felony hammer, pressure to plead guilty is applied by invoking a lesser chance of being suspended or expelled if you "take responsibility"
  • The process was overwhelming and rushed; UJC reps made it clear that a delay was not welcome and may be detrimental to the outcome, violation rule 2
  • Video review can be complex and time consuming--Brake's insistence that Jess had adequate time to review it (once) before her trial shows a lack of knowledge common also among professional lawyers
  • The refusal of both the UJC and Judicial Review Board to view video that might have assailed the performance of UVA personnel says a lot
  • Jess reluctantly signed the investigators report as there was no other apparent way forward (not of her own "free will" as Brake stated but with great reservations), after being promised by her counsel that Officer Oke would not testify that he was slapped, but it was a "flailing of arms"
  • Oke testified that it was clearly a slap--this clear violation of procedure is dismissed by both Brake and the JRB as somehow immaterial
  • When writing his response to the appeal Brake: 1) presents the facts of the case nearly verbatim from ficititious police reports 2) provides that he can simply overrule objections of a defendant to the investigator's report 3) considers the video unimportant because of the admissions of Standards violations while completely missing the point these admissions could be inadmissible if personnel acted improperly 4) refers to strategic decisions made based on the recommendations of a counselor who clearly never even considers the idea that UVA staff have acted inappropriately and who tells Jess poor attitude and lack of compliance with officers INCREASES THE ODDS OF SUSPENSION 5) admits that substantial pressure to not delay was brought and then arbitrarily declares that there was no substantive reason to delay contrary to the defendant's position 6) presents flimsy and outrageous logic as to why it was OK for Jess's counselor to get her to sign the IR report based on promised testimony that didn't happen, on the one hand describing the slap as the "core of the guilty plea" and on the other a "splitting of hairs" 7) quotes testimony from Oke about her poor behaviour with not one question about why he stopped them from going to the ER, why rescue took so long, whether Ms Nelson refused treatment etc 8) why if "the slap" didn't hurt and wasn't serious he charged her with a felony?
  • The trial panel found her behavior deeply disturbing, but it was nowhere near as disturbing as the entire UVA response from beginning to end
  • Most amazing is this sentence from Brake: "In fact, Ms. Nelson seemed to lack any conception of community whatsoever"... the arrogance and prejudice in this statement defies description
  • Contact with the law or discipline can prevent lifelong bad habits, but not like this.. the entire process is so incredibly biased as to be an utter travesty of "justice"; the attitude that accompanies it only magnifies the defendant's misery and emboldens police to treat students however they like
  • More on the Judicial Review Board appeal in the next section
Original Photo Credit: https://news.virginia.edu/content/future-politician-academic-john-brake-earns-scholarship-study-china

EP13: Complaints and Appeals... Gibson, Rockwell, Riordan and more

  • I filed a complaint with Virginia Board of Health about how the students were not helped at the hospital door, the slow response time, and failure of Medic V to provide care, among other things
  • Because they never made it inside, the Board said it had no standing to examine the case
  • I then filed a complaint with the Medical Center's accreditor the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Health Care Organizations
  • They got a written response from UVA and determined that the "response was acceptable at this time"--utterly astounding
  • The written response is not public under a "privacy policy" which they did not provide on request, making it useless and typical of the lack of transparency and accountability
  • This is the same organization that UVA suggests contacting instead of the student newspaper--students should consider both avenues as the CD has an important role to play
  • I also asked for basic ER info on intox intakes-- Director Riordan didn't bother to answer
  • Since UVA declined to investigate anything at all, I filed a complaint with the UPD in a hurry while appeals could still be heard
  • Lt Gritmon took about a month to complete it, taking us past the appeal period, and found only minor problems; UVA refuses to release the IA or use-of-force report, both completely at its discretion
  • My own investigation is in the Resources section--that only minor problems were found and police reports submitted could stand up to IA scrutiny is amazing
  • Jess also appealed her UJC case to the JRB, which largely parroted the UJC Trial Chair Response and is filled with the same factual inaccuracies
  • It did however take note that the girls went to the hopsital entrance seeking care--that the JRB, led by Dean Rockwell, is not familiar enough with UVA and hospital policy to know that students seeking care at the hospital are entitled to privacy, that police detained them for the purpose of getting care, and took a person they deemed incapable of making a decision away from care, is beyond troubling
  • As with police and UJC, Rockwell and JRB assume the running off was some desire to evade law enforcement, when in fact it a desire to avoid the obscene cost of healthcare as Jess ended up paying for dermatology care at UVA that she thought was covered-- in her altered state of mind, that was all she could consider
  • As usual with every department, the focus is on the student behaviour without even considering UVA staff behavior
  • Rockwell also focuses on the state conviction which was obtained under coercion and without UVA providing evidence in a timely manner, or at all, a fact as equally "uncontested" as the plea itself
  • In a section of the JRB report quoted by the Cavalier Daily, Rockwell stated: "Notwithstanding, they [JRB Panelists] were equally troubled that she chose to appeal a sanction based on extreme behavior that, in the panelists’ estimation, could have warranted a permanent expulsion from the University."
  • Think that statement will make anyone think twice about appealing in the future?
  • This similar to UJC, holier-than-thou, dismissive attitude, that a student should even conceive of not "taking responsibility" and that a UVA process was unfair or unjust, has no place at a school like UVA where open discussion, fair process, and civil dialogue should be the order of the day
  • What was "extreme" was the way these students, including a heroic Samaritan following UVA guidelines, could be treated as criminals and tortured, and that neither the UJC or JRB bothered to watch the video nor consider that serious problems with UVA staff behavior occurred
  • The JRB panelists were relieved to know that Ms. Nelson has recovered physically from her extremely dangerous behavior--I bet they were relieved that she wasn't killed by the actions of UVA... ponder if that had happened... a student brought to the hospital and taken away by police that died in jail choking on her own vomit or from internal bleeding
  • Maybe the panelists should examine some of their own professors' legal research about treatment by police, providing context, and entrenched practices--it appears that again the standards are different when UVA is on the receiving end
  • I also wrote Dean Goluboff, in charge of a committee for recommending changes after 12 August, as well as over 20 UVA offices--no one responded... the idea that UVA doesn't feel a need to respond to students, parents, and alumni must change
Original Image Credits: https://community.batten.virginia.edu/Batten-Services/office-student-services; https://news.virginia.edu/content/university-police-chief-gibson-retire-search-successor-launched

EP14: Former UVA President Sullivan

  • This circled text from the student handbook reads: CALL 911 WHENEVER SOMETHING DOESN'T FEEL RIGHT OR IF YOU NEED EMERGENCY ASSISTANCE. ALWAYS FOLLOW YOUR INSTINCTS: CALL 911
  • It doesn't say anything about getting arrested when you call... after the way Jess and her friend were treated, instincts are shifting to better not call 911 since police are responding
  • Text at top... DEAR NEW STUDENT: SAFETY IS VITALLY IMPORTANT TO EVERY MEMBER OF THE UVA COMMUNITY. AS A STUDENT, IF YOUR SAFETY IS COMPROMISED, YOUR OPPORTUNITY TO LEARN AND GROW IS ALSO COMPROMISED. BECAUSE WE VALUE SAFETY, ALL OF US IN THIS COMMUNITY SHARE A SENSE OF RESPONSIBILITY FOR OURSELVES AND FOR ONE ANOTHER. PLEASE TAKE TIME TO LEARN ABOUT THE SAFETY RESOURCES THAT ARE AVAILABLE TO YOU AND HOW YOU CAN IMPROVE SAFETY FOR YOURSELF AND FOR OTHERS. TOGETHER, WE CAN ENSURE THE SAFEST COMMUNITY POSSIBLE. VERY TRULY YOURS, THERESA A. SULLIVAN, PRESIDENT
  • Jess and Audrey's opportunity to learn and grow has been seriously compromised by the way they were treated by hospital, UPD, Medics, and University Counsel... criminal records are an especially serious compromising factor for being brought unconscious to the hospital, and Audrey has left
  • I wrote Sullivan multiple times about both how these students were treated, and about safety at UVA--safety is so "vitally important" that she did not respond once
  • It is time to end the ambiguity and get things straight with students that 911 is either a safety resource or a JOKE and that sending cops acting as docs as primary response is unacceptable
  • When I called to follow up why I was getting no response from Sullivan to meet and present my petition, I was told angrily by her secretary, Nancy Eagle, that she "didn't have to have this conversation"
Original Photo Credit: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Teresa_A._Sullivan

EP15: UVA Spokesperson de Bruyn

  • de Bruyn's statement to the Cavalier Daily regarding this incident is so misleading, so damaging to campus safety that it defies comprehension
  • The most incredible statement: "University Police called rescue to the scene and [when] rescue attempted to transport one student to the hospital, the student attempted to run away to avoid going to the hospital," de Bruyn said. "In cases like this one, where there is no medical emergency and an individual who is intoxicated will not go to the hospital, the alternative is to remand them to jail until they can sober up"
  • Followed by: "De Bruyn emphasized in his response 'that the University continues to encourage students to seek care whenever they may have had too much to drink or for any other medical condition'"
  • You're telling the UVA community that you might be remanded to jail to sober up, but please keep seeking care/calling 911 if you had too much to drink??... he also does not note that police were there as the result of a 911 call for help
  • Since August 12 when the UPD was roundly panned by multiple outside sources for its performance during the riots, since this Cavalier Daily article, and since the change.org petition which resulted in over 2500 video views and nearly 1500 signatures (apparently not enough for UVA to have a sense of urgency or think action was required), cases referred for discipline by UPD are down 30%
  • While hopefully this is due to all the measures being taken to reduce drinking, getting a 30% decline in one year is pretty improbable--UVA needs to get this fixed so that confidence in 911 is restored before someone dies because they don't feel comfortable calling 911
  • So much more is wrong with his statements...
  • Who informed de Bruyn that there was no medical emergency? Both officers at the scene stated multiple times that it was a medical emergency
  • The person bringing the patient to the hospital considers it a medical emergency... that's enough-- police have no business overruling that person who knows far more background and made the decision to request care
  • People could have other injuries, like the massive hematoma Jess had on her head, that may not meet the "sober enough to run, fight, stand, etc" test that an officer comes up with, but may be dangerous
  • Being able to get up and run a short-distance when you have no idea what you're doing does not mean you don't need medical help, why EMS needs to make the call
  • This is just de Bruyn ACTUALLY stating the same incredible policy we heard from everyone else, so inane, so barbaric, and so incredible for a leader in medicine and host of the Gordie Center
  • Apparently de Bruyn also doesn't know that refusal is not a reason to arrest someone in need of care... stunning
  • A safe detox center is needed, like a section of the new health center open 24 hours
  • Who said she refused to go to the hospital?... she wasn't asked, and at this point likely would have gone--police took her out of the wheelchair
  • "The University launched an investigation"... sort of... UPD is part of UVA and UPD had to do something so UVA used the IA, but made no effort on any other front to investigate--maybe now they will
  • He also failed to mention that the investigation is not being made public, nor did he mention that you get charged with crimes when you are "remanded to jail"--even if the charges are "deferred," they still show up on your record for 7 years
  • These statements from the person representing UVA are so poorly prepared and so out of touch with facts that what they are is obvious--just a maneuver to get rid of you without doing anything and blame the victim--it's time for solutions, not talk that takes us backwards
Original Photo Credit: http://communications.virginia.edu/people/people

EP16: Charlottesville Commonwealth Attorney Platania

  • After the stonewalling and obfuscation I had previously encountered from nearly everyone I spoke with, my interactions with CA Platania were downright shocking--like Andrasko, he suffers a lack of authority that needs to be addressed
  • On our first call, he started the conversation by saying flat out that his office would never make threats using plea bargains before all the evidence was in
  • He then took it a step further by saying that if he were willing to reduce the sentence to a misdemeanor as in this case, he would be happy to let it go to trial--an opportunity we would have jumped at
  • And then to top it off, he said that his office virtually never charges anyone trying to access medical care... he seemed quite puzzled that charges had been brought here with the women at the hospital
  • He agreed to talk to Killeen and our lawyer and get back to me
  • This is our one point of departure... after looking into it, he didn't feel comfortable taking action since it occurred on someone else's watch
  • While I can understand the sentiment, the office is the office, and when problems are found they need to be addressed
  • My guess is that there are a lot of problems like this, and that no one wants to set a precedent to retry huge numbers of cases
  • Work is being done to redress people unfairly put in jail which should be the priority... however, felonies and barrier crime convictions should be earmarked for a special office or other process to reevaluate and look at clemency in the future
  • He also said that DIP should only be used for people causing trouble, similar to my view that DIP should go away and be replaced only by disorderly conduct... arresting someone simply because they are drunk in public is subjective and easily abused... if they need help, get them to detox, not jail
  • Killeen is no longer with the office
  • Charlottesville is fortunate to have an enlightened CA who listens--we also had an informative meeting while I was in town and he invited me to come back anytime--the kind of reception I might have expected from my own alma mater
Photo Credit Original: https://www.dailyprogress.com/news/politics/platania-wins-for-commonwealth-s-attorney/article_eb8a96be-50af-11e7-9232-bb6b72b835c1.html

EP17: Governor Ralph Northam

  • I sent an email to Northam's office featuring Jess cheering with her varsity squad on the sidelines of a UVA football game (remember she has no sense of community whatsoever?) and asked for a meeting with him to present our petition and address how UVA could be treating its students like this Jess cheering for UVA
  • I got no response and called in... I was told that the scheduling office had my request--I was really impressed thinking that I might actually get to meet the governor
  • Again I heard nothing and wrote again, this time attention of scheduling office... long story short I never heard anything from the governor or anyone on his staff despite help from Senator Deeds
  • On my next trip, I drove to Richmond and hand delivered two envelopes to Fernando Mercado-Violand who works in the Governor's office... one packet for Northam and one for Moran, since public safety falls under his purview, with extensive info on the incident and my petition
  • Again I heard nothing, not even from a staff member, so I called Mercado-Violand
  • He said something to the effect that he was running it up the pole, but I never heard back from him or anyone else
  • I don't know if this kind of constituent service (Jess is a resident of VA) is typical of the executive branch (Deeds was pretty responsive on the legislative side), if the executive branch figures it can't afford to ruffle UVA feathers, if the UVA government affairs office is telling it to ignore this, if they have no interest in looking at issues that are a liability for the state, or if they're just too overwhelmed with complaints to keep up-- but what I do know is that this lack of response is not acceptable to any constituent--especially with lives on the line
  • It seems if your kid dies, or you give lots of money, you get to meet the governor and even get legislation passed--but if you're trying to PREVENT people from dying because of VA personnel and policies, no one wants to give you the time of day
  • I also wrote to AG Herrington multiple times about judicial integrity what process was available to address errors and never received a response
  • His site has a contact form with no provision to start a thread for accountability--these should be banned for public offices
  • Recent emails asking who in the Governor's office is responsible for UVA oversight were not answered
  • The one response I did get that was fast and efficient was how to protest in Richmond... so it seems like they selectively respond to what's easy
  • Guess protesting in Richmond is what it will take... see you soon
Original photo credit: https://www.governor.virginia.gov/about-the-governor/governor-ralph-northam/

EP18: AVP Security Gloria Graham

  • Graham is the new AVP of Security, adding a layer of management between COO JJ Davis and new CoP Sutton who came with her from Northwestern
  • Having a good interpreter between professional police and elected officials is a very good idea if that person can walk the line and be objective (she is a former police chief)
  • The problem at UVA and campus police in general is they are beholden to management, not the public, with only a vague, ineffective line to the elected state government
  • Initial signs are that nothing is changing, and Graham is as beholden to management as ever...none of the new personnel responded to email for a meeting and Graham has refused to look into how Jess and Audrey were treated
  • Her refusal is based on the IA report finding no serious problems (which she also refuses to release), and you guessed it-- Jess "taking responsibility"
  • Jess took responsibility for her poor decision to drink excessively NOT to be abused by UVA personnel breaking policy and the law
  • Her refusal is also based on the perverse logic that both the UJC and criminal case processes "found sufficient evidence to confirm her responsibility"
  • Can anyone be so completely blind and deaf to what the issue is? THERE ARE BIG PROBLEMS WITH THESE PROCESSES AND THE EVIDENCE AND THEY NEED TO BE RE-EXAMINED AS UPD IS THE CAUSE OF THE PROBLEMS
  • This is the same logic that the OUC uses, who probably wrote this response or approved it... from Meek regarding arrests for students classified as medical assists by UPD: "You will note that nearly all of those cases resulted in a conviction or deferred disposition for the applicable offense – indicating the sufficiency of the evidence"--they just don't get it, or want to get it
  • Her refusal is also based on it happening before her arrival--that doesn't make it any less her responsibility, especially with a dangerous officer still on the job
  • So far, changes under Graham have included superficial approaches like re-working the recruiting video to put in a few more references to "community" even though UPD is nowhere near community policing... talking a lot about transparency with the only sign being this little report (better than nothing but a long way from transparency)... trying to get students involved--good but they need some teeth to change things
  • She and the UPD did do a lot of work preparing for the $5 million dollar August 12 drill which featured no alt right folks, but hopefully some good lessons
  • Jess received no response from new Student Police Advisory Board, though it could be promising if students demand the power to make it so
  • Graham and UVA management appear somewhat oblivious to the total lack of confidence in UPD that needs agressive measures to restore, including real transparency... UVA should be leading this effort statewide... instead it is fighting the trend and lagging far behind Fairfax, VA Beach, and... yes, Charlottesville, which is working to implement a new CRB
  • As the central junction between so many nodes, including the state government, Graham has the resources to make big changes... she needs to do that and be supported by UVA
  • It's time for reforms and for UVA to "TAKE RESPONSIBILITY" for its failures with change and remedial action

EP19: UVA Board of Visitors Rector Conner and Board

  • When you can't get UVA to do anything, and you can't get the governor to do anything, you're left with the last piece of governance, the Board of Visitors
  • Every communication sent to the BoV Secretary Susan Harris was ignored
  • Feedback on the UVA budget for law enforcement that advocated not spending to hire more sworn officers but to use the funds on retaining good officers and new training techniques was sent to the board individually and got one, one sentence response
  • Finally, I recently got a very nice message from Rector Conner after emailing him directly: Dear Mr. Nelson: I have forwarded your correspondence to the appropriate individuals to address, including Gloria Graham, our new head of security and to whom the UPD reports. I have not reviewed the details of this matter but irrespective of the circumstances, I do want you to know that I am very saddened to learn of the trauma your family has endured. Rusty Conner
  • I really appreciate the sentiments and hope the Rector WILL review the details of the matter, and I hope to see more "truth and transparency" and action by UVA to walk the talk in the way that the Rector spoke about "why we walk the lawn"... I cannot describe how disappointed I am in the way that UVA has treated us
  • I'm just a plebeian who ended up mostly as a stay-at-home dad, but you know what, when you tell students to call 911, and then almost kill them like you did to Jess, you are going to hear from me, and keep hearing from me until I drop dead or you change to protect our precious children
  • I hope to hear more from the Rector and follow up from him in the relevant areas
http://uvamagazine.org/articles/visitor_in_chief

EP20: UVA President Jim Ryan

  • Two UVA students were not allowed into the UVA Medical Center and then arrested and thrown in jail after 911 was politely asked for assistance inside... WAIT, WHAT?
  • I wonder... if something is seriously wrong that needs to get addressed quickly before someone dies or everyone stops calling 911?
  • Couldn't we at least agree... that immediate changes need to be made and a serious objective investigation conducted very soon?
  • How else can I help?... I've already given a year and a half of my life and still willing to help
  • What truly matters?... I think student well being is the obvious answer, and in this case, the decisions being made ARE life changing, or ending
  • I appreciate your first email, sir... I look forward to hearing from you and working to address the full gamut of issues presented here
  • "We all have a responsibility to make UVA a safe place to live, work, and learn. That means speaking up when you see a crime or someone being harmed. And it means being honest about both the progress we've made as a university and the areas where we still have more work to do" (James Ryan, 2018 Fire and Safety Report)
  • I'm speaking up and looking forward to honesty about the large amount of work that remains to be done on student safety, and proper treatment of students/families
  • I understand that you couldn't meet me over the holidays... I have now offered a six week time frame and have not heard from you or anyone on your staff
Original photo credit: https://news.virginia.edu/content/president-elect-ryans-secret-formula-happiness-life-wait-what

EP21: Jessie's Heroic Friend Audrey

  • Our family will be forever grateful for the superhuman effort Audrey made to help Jess
  • We will be forever sorry for what she was put through by University of Virginia--we look forward to UVA joining us in that sentiment
  • We hope that our effort to stop sending police to rescue calls and making medical decisions, to make the words "Gordie Call" for rescue recognized nationwide, as well as to work towards other reforms at UVA and in VA will be worth both girls' myriad sacrifices
  • At the jail, Smallwood had the nerve to tell Audrey to "show some respect... and act like a UVA student"--what better model is there for a UVA student than one who takes the initiative to save her friend's life, gets her to the hospital, carries her around liked a wounded soldier for 15 minutes trying to get in, fights for her to get care in the face of total incompetence, and gets herself arrested in order to stay with her friend? She should get a medal
  • Smallwood, used to playing God with student lives, says at the jail "We'll see if you come back to UVA next year"--she is no longer at UVA
  • She should be invited to return anytime she wants

EP22: Summary and Conclusions

  • It's true--the best way to avoid this kind of trouble is to NOT DRINK AT ALL OR AT LEAST NOT TO EXCESS! True also is that especially young people are going to overestimate themselves and going to take higher risks, which makes them the future, a future they need to have
  • Also true is that the fundamental cause of this entire incident was the Medical Center's failure to help the students and sending police to a medical call--the time is here to change this for good--PLEASE WRITE to President Ryan and Governor Northam, your local representative AND sign our petition--no one should have to worry about calling for help or getting treated like these students, particularly when UVA teaches them to call
  • Please share this, particularly if you have college- and high school-age children--the time has come to implement 911 amnesty and proper crisis response nationwide--if you need help for yourself or your friend, worrying about legal consequences should be the last thing on your mind--everyone should learn the term "Gordie Call" means rescue without prosecution and use it with 911--laws need to be changed accordingly
  • This may not seem like your problem until it is--nearly everyone I've come across thought their family member/friend would never be in this situation--some have had to go to counseling after coming into contact with UPD after a life previously free of contact with the law... please help
  • UPD needs reforms and transparency... it also needs assistance-- see More
  • No matter what the situation, no one should be sent home alone--a ride home or protective custody absent charges are other choices until a detox center is available or the hospital is set up to help people
  • UVA needs to completely revamp how it responds to parents and community members with concerns
  • A key part of that is evaluating the Office of University Counsel, "risk management," and legalistic approaches that get nothing done and create huge potential liabilities
  • That UVA thinks ignoring the response to our petition (with many thoughtful comments) and video is a good way forward is really disappointing
  • More than anything, the UVA community expects UVA to be a leader in everything it does and to use its clout to advance causes, not fight progress--for example, let's go to Richmond and get the law changed from "potential" amnesty to actual amnesty so UVA can keep its promises about calling 911
  • Let's never fail when it comes to honor and integrity in the endless pursuit of better--let's make something positive of this incident
  • The problem of police treating impaired persons like they should be able to respond to barking commands is something the media has missed that needs nationwide attention--so many shootings and so much police violence is a result of ignorance and improper handling--make sure your police department is up on the latest techniques and sends medical first
  • The FBI Incident Based Reporting System that UPD uses should also collect data on whether a person arrested is impaired, especially if unrelated to the charges... while data element 8 sort of does this, it is more for probable cause--we need to know for every reported crime the mental state of the person and judges need to consider whether police handled people properly instead of an attitude that impairment is no excuse for causing a "crime"
  • Alcohol is so prevalent everywhere in our society--people need to be better educated on the many ways it can damage your life... the beverage producers/distributors need to pay for the effort--for example, $5,000 from the ABC for UVA is not sufficient
  • Police, security, rescue and students NEED HELP in the form of a safe place to go or take students... something else recreational drug and alcohol producers can help pay for with excise taxes earmarked for that purpose
  • I was struck by a sentence from Police Chief William Ramsey at Longo's Forum on Community Policing: "We live in a very penal society"-- it's true and it's time to ameliorate that on multiple fronts, including helping people to detox and solving their problems, not throwing them in jail
  • Officer complaints, use-of-force reports, operations manual, raw data, and more... properly redacted... need to be made available--UPD claims it had fewer than five complaints for each of the last few years, a preposterous number for the number of calls they handle
  • Police need to stop fighting the effort for community policing, transparency, and accountability-- it is propagating a dangerous lack of respect for police which makes their job harder as well as making it more difficult to do the critical work of attracting people that make good officers-- of course it's also causing people hesitate to call for help
  • As the head of the local PBA stated "Police are going to make mistakes"... it's time for police to step up when they do and take the onus off of individuals--the CJS should also pause when complaints are made until they are investigated by objective third parties
  • UVA makes a big deal out of the fact that UPD is CALEA accredited--it is only Tier 1 accredited and unlike VA Tech, RU, and VCU is not IACLEA certified as well
  • IACLEA, Campus Public Safety Accreditation, is much more focused on harm reduction than making sure students get disciplined--it appears Graham is a member and could lead this effort
  • Even so, accreditors typically have no power to investigate and accreditation is not a panacea--the model of a hiring a Chief and then letting the police run themselves doesn't work--a hands-on approach is required with accountability to stakeholders, and especially STUDENTS at colleges
  • I'm not anti-police, just anti-bad policing--thanks to all the great police, EMS, and fire personnel out there--we realize your job is harder and more complicated then ever
  • These complex jobs need more training and deserve better pay and better housing, and the good folks out there need to join the effort for transparency and call out bad behavior and bad policies
  • Improvements to incidents like this need a proper technology base to record projects, news, and feedback as well as allow various people to make contributions in their areas of expertise over time...an area UVA could be instrumental in using existing technology or delivering new platforms for getting things done

More Engagement

The following contains some of the work done as well as other sources and avenues to work for improvements