Update on Surveillance of Students of Color Fighting Racism in Belinda Hall
The recent incident of surveillance has only strengthened our commitment to ending racial oppression at Harvard Law School.
Aside from one cursory exchange on Friday, the police have not approached Reclaim Harvard Law for any information or evidence. Still, we have and will continue to consult counsel as the investigation progresses—a right we have been taught as law students, particularly unprotected students of color, to exercise in all dealings with the police.
With that said, second-year student Simmi Kaur explained, “We find it hard to trust the Harvard University Police Department charged with the investigation given their close relationship with the administration.” Third-year student, Sam Koplewicz added, “Not only was the administration present when the HUPD first addressed students on Friday, but they also initially misled the community about the existence of an additional recording device. If there is an investigation, it should be an independent one.”
At least one additional recording device was found subsequent to our press advisory on Friday and turned in to the administration. There were also reports that Velcro, which was used to adhere the first recorder found in Belinda Hall, was seen under desks in multiple classrooms. Yet, the administration released a statement yesterday morning stating simply that no other devices have been found.
With the administration’s integrity at issue, we quickly did our own preliminary sweep of Belinda Hall, which revealed three tables with Velcro adhesives underneath them. Then, at the request of the administration, the HUPD did a more thorough search of Belinda Hall in the afternoon and found additional instances of Velcro. Only after requests for transparency from Reclaim Harvard Law did the administration issue another statement acknowledging the second recorder and the multiple Velcro discoveries late last night.
We will not be shaken by these events and remain committed to fighting racism at our institution.