University News

Brown fires DPS officer for misconduct

Alleged assault of Latinx Dartmouth student prompted four-month investigation

By and
senior staff writers
Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Fifty-nine percent of the Brown University Security Patrolpersons’ Association members voted on the state of DPS leadership. Of those voting, 87.5 percent voted “no confidence.”

Updated at 6 p.m., March 9, 2016

The Department of Public Safety officer accused of assaulting a visiting Dartmouth student participating in the Latinx Ivy League Conference in November has been fired, wrote Executive Vice President of Planning and Policy Russell Carey ’91 MA’06 in a community-wide email Tuesday.

Carey provided a summary of the incident itself and the findings of the ensuing investigation conducted by DPS and supervised by Mark Porter, chief of police and director of DPS. Following an initial verbal dispute regarding the DPS officer’s intentions and conduct with regard to an intoxicated Brown student at a party at Machado House, the incident became physical when the visiting student disregarded the officer’s instructions to not re-enter the house, Carey wrote.

Though handcuffed after the altercation, the visiting student was not arrested. The investigation concluded that the visiting student’s behavior was not disruptive, and he was not inebriated to the point “where he was incapable of taking care of himself or in need of medical attention,” Carey wrote. The student did not decide to file a formal complaint or take legal action following the incident.

Immediately following the incident, the officer was placed on administrative leave. He was then dismissed after a disciplinary hearing on the grounds that he did not “follow departmental policies and procedures relating to decisions to trespass the student.” While Carey maintained that putting the student under arrest was inappropriate, he wrote that “the amount of force that was used to place the student guest into custody was not inconsistent with departmental policy or procedure.”

Carey signed off by reaffirming the University’s faith in the leadership of DPS, including Porter and Paul Shanley, deputy chief of police for DPS. This comes after the union including DPS officers, the Brown University Security Patrolpersons’ Association, took a vote of “no confidence” in Porter and Shanley, sending the results to several administrators, including Carey. Carey specifically wrote about the credibility and experience of Porter and Shanley, who have performed “at the high level of excellence demanded by the University and will continue to do so going forward.”

Brian Clark, director of news and editorial development, declined to comment on any questions regarding the specifics of the investigation.