Hunter Oberst Connor Crawford Claire Boughton Puja Thapa
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Keene Police arrested and brought charges against two Keene State College Students related to a campus dispute on March 16, 2020, before the COVID pandemic had taken hold, before masks were required and before the college campus had closed down last spring.
According to arrest reports, Ndeye Badiane was charged with resisting arrest and two counts of simple assault while her fiance, Tyler Clavelle, was charged with resisting arrest and criminal trespassing.
According to an arrest report written by Keene Patrol Officer Michael C Goodchild, Officer Joshua English said Clavelle had been asked to leave multiple times by Residential Director Jessica L’HommeDieu but had refused. Goodchild’s report also stated that Officer English told Clavelle he had to leave, to which Clavelle responded he would leave after he retrieved his possessions from Badiane’s room.
“Officer English told Clavelle he could retrieve his items, but he was not going to allow Clavelle to secure the door,” Goodchild wrote in his report. Officer English explained he didn’t want to go into Badiane’s room, but for safety reasons, he was not going to allow Clavelle to secure the door. “Clavelle told Officer English he had no right going into Badiane’s room without a warrant. Clavelle insisted he’s going into Badiane’s room and will be securing the door, while he gets dressed and collects his property.”
According to Goodchild’s report, while he and Officer English were dealing with Clavelle, the Keene Fire Department was tending to an ill Badiane who had refused to go to the emergency room. The report states that Officer English then told Clavelle he needed to leave the building but Clavelle refused, leading to his arrest.
“Officer English grabbed Clavelle’s left hand to secure in handcuffs, and I grabbed a hold of his right arm,” Officer Goodchild wrote. “Clavelle immediately tried pulling around from Officer English. I repossession [sic] my grip on Clavelle’s right arm, while Officer English also took a firmer hold of Clavelle. Clavelle purposely slid his legs out from underneath himself, and went to a sitting position on the floor. Officer English and I continued to struggle with Clavelle, as we tried to secure him in handcuffs, while at the same time we both repeatedly instructed Clavelle to stop resisting and to put his hands behind his back.”
In Officer English’s police report he wrote that Clavelle was allegedly given multiple verbal commands to stop resisting.
“I continued to try to use my right leg to hold Tyler’s left arm and I continued to aim for the mandibular angle pressure point,” English said. “The pressure point did not appear to be working so I removed my right thumb from the area of Tyler’s face and used my right hand to gain control of Tyler’s left arm.”
While attempting to arrest Clavelle, Goodchild states that Badiane pushed himself and English, which he responded by requesting officer assistance on his radio.
Badiane claimed in a Google document that she intervened with Clavelle’s arrest because she felt his life was in danger. According to Badiane, one of the officers was trying to handcuff Clavelle while another officer allegedly “started choking Tyler on the left side of his neck and proceeded to dig his finger into the back of Tyler’s ear to which he screamed out in pain,” Badiane wrote.
“I could barely move a second before but the second I saw Tyler’s life in danger my adrenaline went up and I knew I had to do something or he would be another black victim to police brutality by excessive force,” Badiane stated in her document.
“I removed my baton and extended it,” Goodchild stated in his report. “I used the baton to pry Clavelle’s right arm out from underneath him. As I began prying his right arm, Clavelle stopped resisting and placed his right hand behind his back, where it was then secured in handcuffs. I collapsed the baton and secured it in my baton holster. Officer English and I rolled Clavelle onto his left side, where I conducted a search of his person. We then assisted Clavelle to his feet and escorted him out of the building.”
Keene Police Officer Thaddeus Derendal wrote in his arrest report that the police received a total of three requests for assistance at Owls Nest 5 on Keene State Campus. Derendal wrote that he observed officers English and Goodchild struggling with Clavelle on the floor while Badiane yelled and recorded the struggle on her phone. According to the report, Badiane’s phone was taken by Officer Joseph C Maillet, and Derendal grabbed her left arm to escort her out. While being escorted, Badiane “bumped” into Lt. Steven Tenney who Derendal writes was next to a flight of stairs. Derendal said he reached out to prevent Tenney from falling before being assaulted by Badiane.
“A second later Ndeye turned further away from me and then kicked backwards striking me in the right leg/shin,” Derendal wrote in the report. “After being assaulted, I knew that Lt. Tenney was off to my right and that he was standing directly next to the stairs. If Ndeye started to resist or flail her arms that could have caused Lt. Tenney to fall down the flight of stairs. Still having a hold of her left wrist, I brought my right arm up and around her head to place her into a headlock so that I could bring her to the ground. At this point Lt. Tenney grabbed onto her arm and escorted her onto the ground. Note: I never completed the headlock prior to Ndeye being taken to the ground.”
Despite arrest records claiming Badiane physically intervened with Keene Police’s attempts to arrest Clavelle and her having allegedly “assaulted” Officer Derendal, Badiane wrote that she did not put her hands on the officers arresting her fiance.
“I jumped in between him and Tyler so he would stop,” Badiane wrote. During her arrest, Badiane claims her phone was ripped out of her hand and “six [police officers] proceeded to immediately tackle me to the ground.”
“I was slammed on the ground and my right shoulder was dislocated and I screamed in pain and was completely ignored as they continued to put handcuffs on me,” Badiane claimed in her document.
In his report for the arrest of Badiane, Officer Joseph Maillet wrote that Badiane had told him she was in pain while he transported her to the Police Department for booking.
“Badiane informed me that she was having right shoulder pain after the fall,” Maillet wrote. “I called dispatch and requested an ambulance come check on her at the Keene Police Department.” Maillet adds that Badiane declined transport to Cheshire Medical Center.
According to Badiane, she and Clavelle went to Convenient MD the next day for injuries they allegedly sustained during the incident. Badiane said she had to wear a shoulder sling and go into physical therapy.
WHAT LED TO THE ARRESTS
According to reports filed by Residents Director Jessica L’HommeDieu and Campus Safety Officer Mike Gomez, Gomez was called to Badiane’s room because of a marijuana complaint.
“This situation did not need to escalate to this point at all and it was their (RD L’HommeDieu and CSO Gomez) responsibility to make sure it didn’t,” Badiane said.
L’HommeDieu stated in her report that Clavelle looked through the trash to find marijuana that L’HommeDieu and Gomez were smelling. Afterwards, Clavelle, who identifies as non-binary, tried to wash his hands in the designated female bathroom. According to her report, L’HommeDieu told Clavelle that he could not use the female bathroom because she had believed he identified as male because he was using he/him pronouns. After he was told he could not use the designated female bathroom, and was accused of not knowing his fiance’s name, L’HommeDieu said Clavelle told her to “f–k herself” eight times. According to L’HommeDieu’s report, Clavelle was asked to leave the building, but after he refused KPD was called.
Keene State President Treadwell said she thinks the situation escalated because of an issue of gender identity when Tyler was told he couldn’t use the designated female bathroom.
“There was a small escalation over why he was there,” Treadwell said. “Tyler dug through the garbage to try to find what they were smelling so that he could demonstrate it wasn’t currently active.
Coordinator of LGBTQ Student Support Hunter Kirschner said that the term “non-binary” has a complex definition. “So non-binary, for me in this moment, is this umbrella term describing people, individuals, who identify their gender in any way that is outside of the traditional idea of gender binary, which is man/woman, male/female,” Kirschner said.
According to President Treadwell, Clavelle was told by the RD that he could not use the designated female bathroom. “So in that moment there are multiple things I have questioned,” Treadwell said. “Why did we engage in gender identity at that moment? Tyler wanted to use the bathroom across the hallway but it was a designated female bathroom. That breached our values. That is the issue of where Keene State did not have training, education and appropriate ways to deescalate and step back from a conflict.”
Kirschner said that at Keene State, students can use locker rooms and bathroom facilities that correspond to their gender identity. “Here’s the thing about gender identity,” Kirschner said. “It’s internal… it’s our own sense of self, it’s how we make sense of who we are within this body, within this larger cultural context and it’s different than gender expression, it’s different than how people appear, how they dress or even the words they use to describe themselves. And so, there is not a way that people can look non-binary.”
Badiane claims in her Google document that RD L’HommeDieu said that Clavelle had to have his pronouns registered with the school in order to use the bathroom of his preference.
Kirschner added that despite Clavelle being told by the RD that he had to register his preferred gender and pronouns, Keene State has no such policy.
Associate Vice President for Institutional Equity and Diversity Dottie Morris said, “you don’t have to register your pronouns. That’s the first I’ve ever heard of that… We don’t force people to register their pronouns.”
“No, student’s do not have to register and ideally a student would not be challenged by using the bathroom that is consistent with who they understand themselves to be. We want to honor the individual people on our campus,” Kirschner said. “I’m just so worried about trans and non-binary students feeling like they need to register, which they don’t.”
President Treadwell added that a total of six Keene Police officers engaged in trying to remove Tyler from the building so that care could be administered to Khady.
“If you look through the record they were asking ‘We don’t want to arrest you if you could just leave the building that is what we are trying to have occur.’ Then there was discussion over ‘if you cannot submit you will need to be arrested’ and that is what is shown in the video,” Treadwell said.
According to President Treadwell, she asked Keene Police whether six officers were necessary to subdue one individual and Keene Police told her it was standard protocol. When asked on whether or not she thought excessive force was carried out by Keene Police, Treadwell said she could not reflect on that at this time.
“There are certain things, because there is an active case underway, that when there is a time I can speak more openly I will. What I can do and will continue to try to do is speak about what we did well and what we did not do well in this situation. In this case what I can say is it was very amplified; what the students described as their injuries are things that I don’t understand how police are trained to try to deal with circumstances. What I can say is these two individuals had some bruises and injuries as a result. I don’t know who is at fault.”
Keene Police Chief Steven Russo stated via email that there was no use of excessive force during the arrests of Badiane and Clavelle.
“This case has not yet been adjudicated so it would be improper to go into any details,” Russo stated. “We are familiar with the social media posts and I will say the KPD maintains, and there are outside witnesses, that there was absolutely no use of excessive force, and that the minimal force used was reasonable and necessary due to the active resistance of the suspects. As you know, people are free to write any version of events they wish on social media. Those involved and who wrote these posts did not file a complaint with our department, nor any other agency that I know of.”
WHAT HAS THE COLLEGE DONE?
President Treadwell added that during the arrests of Badiane and Clavelle, all jurisdiction was handed over to the police department, as is standard protocol.
“We called the Keene Police and at that moment the jurisdiction for what happens is handed over because we have called them onto our campus to help with a crisis circumstance,” Treadwell said.
Director of Campus Safety & Compliance Christopher Buckley said through an email that a call to Keene Police depends on the nature of the call. “It is based on officer discretion based on the situation and circumstances at the time of the incident,” he stated.
Treadwell said she had no knowledge of what transpired on March 16 until June 2, and had finally known of what occurred on June 8 when she met virtually with Badiane, Clavelle and former Vice President for Student Affairs Kemal Atkins. Treadwell met with Badiane and Clavelle once again on July 20, this time with both Atkins and Associate Vice President for Institutional Equity and Diversity Dottie Morris.
Badiane said in the Google document, “She [Treadwell] invited two staff members that were both black, Dr. Dottie Morris and Dr. Kemal Atkins, to join us for very shallow reasons and told us the RD Jessica resigned and the campus safety officer [Gomez] was under investigation.”
Treadwell said Atkins was present for these meetings because of student life, residential life, and campus safety having fallen under his jurisdiction and Morris was present because of any possible racial bias that may have been involved in the incident.
Morris said that she doesn’t recall Badiane being told about Gomez’s investigation. “I’m not sure where that information is coming from for her that I can only speak to what I know.”
Treadwell added that Badiane and Clavelle said they did not want to go public with what had happened on March 16.
“They were telling us as long as we can get through this they did not want to go public with this and when we first met they said they wanted to give us the chance to deal with it,” Treadwell said.
As to why Badiane decided to go public about the March 16 incident in January, Treadwell said Badiane had written her an email in October that she did not see.
“That is unacceptable. I missed an email. There were 432 emails that day and I missed 69 of them and I just can’t keep up with it. Which is why we are setting up protocols to try to prioritize things to help me not miss things like this,” she said.
Badiane has claimed on social media that President Treadwell has not directly contacted her since July. According to Treadwell, she has not been in direct contact with Badiane since then, “but my offices have.”
“I cannot comment until the act of prosecution is carried out,” Treadwell said. “Khady wants support. [The Executive Assistant in the Office of the President Barbara Preston] has been reaching out to Khady to help her complete her courses.”
When asked what she had to say to Keene State students who believe she and the college have not taken any direct action regarding the incident in March, President Treadwell said “that is just not true.”
Treadwell said Badiane reached out for an update regarding the progress of the school’s investigation and Treadwell did not see Badiane’s email.
“I think she was very upset about that and rightfully so,” Treadwell said. “So now the city was continuing with its case I think Khady and Tyler are reaching out saying ‘help us we are not getting the help we need and we are now about to have a court case.’”
“I’m sorry as a human,” Treadwell said. “I’m sorry that this happened to anybody… some students feel they were not supported by this institution and they feel like they were not treated well by the city police. I would say I’m sorry to Tyler and Khady and we will learn from this and grow. And I will do what I can to make sure they complete their academic journey to make sure their lives are better. And if I can help them by speaking about what happened then I will.”
a timeline of the events that unfolded may be found here
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