UVA Afraid to Prosecute Lying Law Student
The Charlottesville university may have to add 'playing the race card' to its list of honor code violations.
A 25-year old University of Virginia law student Johnathan Perkins wrote a detailed account of police harassment and racial profiling in an April 22 Letter to the Editor of Virginia Law Weekly. Naturally, the prestigious university began an investigation that culminated in Perkin's May 2 admission that he made the whole thing up in order "to bring attention to police misconduct."
In the letter Perkins opens the discussion by offering his take on racism in America.
The race problem in America persists. In most aspects of society (education, housing, employment, etc.), black people and white people live in two different worlds. As a result, most Americans are raised in racially sterilized environments.
Then he shares with his "white classmates" an "all too familiar" story of biased police who wrongfully targeted him because he was black. As a future lawyer Perkins presented quite a compelling scenario.
...About one hundred yards from home, I noticed a police car approaching me. As it neared, the squad car slowed down, blue lights flashing..... The UVA officers (both white) stopped their car, got out and confronted me.. When I asked the officers if there was a problem, one responded, "You fit the description of someone we're looking for...while examining my Pennsylvania driver's license, one of the officers replied, "This doesn't say you live on Wertland Street."
It was clear at that point that the officers were toying with me for their own entertainment. ...Oh, he's a law student." The fact that I informed them that I was in law school made the situation even more tense... "We just need to make sure you're not carrying any weapons". . . I knew that all the cases, regulations, and remedies that I learned in class would be of no avail. These two officers alone controlled my fate.
At that point, one of the officers spun me around, pushed me toward their car, and placed my hands on the rear of the vehicle...
Despite the false allegations no charges will be filed against Perkins. UVA Police Chief Michael Gibson claimed that pressing charges would discourage legitimate complaints in the future. The executive vice-president of the university agreed, stating that Perkins will not be criminally charged for making a false report.
Unless all law students are equal, but some are more equal than others, Gibson's reasoning is upside down. Seems others might think twice about pulling the same con if the law student was held accountable for his actions.
At any rate Perkins is set to graduate in two weeks. Some of his fellow classmates are not too happy with that, citing UVA's strict Honor Code and the fact that political correctness played a role in the decision. Fortunately, Perkins confessed before Al Sharpton headed to Albermarle County.
M. Catharine Evans writes for Potter Williams Report