(PROVIDENCE, R.I.) — New York City’s top cop, Ray Kelly, had planned to speak at Brown University Tuesday afternoon, but some members of the audience had other plans. The audience booed NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly so badly that he was unable to give his lecture on “Proactive Policing in America’s Biggest City.”
Recently, Kelly’s support and application of “stop-and-frisk” policing in New York have put him in the crosshairs of critics who believe the tactics encourage racial profiling.
A statement from the university said the decision to cancel the lecture “came after nearly 30 minutes of disruption by activist students and members of the local community. Loud shouting, persistent interruption, and coordinated chants made it impossible for the lecture to take place.”
The event was free and open to the public, as is the case with nearly all public lectures at Brown, according to the statement on the university’s website.
Brown president Christina Paxon sent a letter to “members of the Brown community” expressing disappointment over the lecture’s cancellation.
“This is a sad day for the Brown community. I appreciate that some members of our community objected to the views of our invited speaker,” she said Tuesday in the letter. “However, our University is — above all else — about the free exchange of ideas.”
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