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BSA Demands Investigation

Backs Student Alleging Harassment

By Marios V. Broustas

Black Students Association President Alvin L. Bragg `95 called yesterday for an independent investigation of what he termed the "illegal" arrest of Inati Ntshanga `95 in December of 1992.

Ntshanga, a Black student from South Africa, has charged that his arrest--made when he was an HSA employee working in the basement linen room of Matthews Hall--was racially motivated.

Bragg said police involved in the case--including three patrol officers and Sgt. Kathleen M. Stanford--should be suspended pending the outcome of the investigation.

Bragg said the Ntshanga case was the worst example of racial discrimination by University police officers that he could remember.

"I was not surprised [by the incident]," he said. "The BSA has tended to publicize in the past the overt discrimination that is practiced by the Harvard University police force and almost every police force in this nation."

Ntshanga was charged with trespassing, breaking-and-entering and use of burglary tools, his HSA keys to the room.

The Harvard Police Department denied Ntshanga's allegations of racial mistreatment, saying the arrest of the student followed police procedure. Ntshanga was later found not guilty on all charges.

University Attorney Allan A. Ryan Jr., who conducted Harvard's investigation into the Ntshanga case, found that the police acted properly. But Bragg said the "in-house" nature of the University's examination makes it illegitimate.

Police have said they were not able to identify Ntshanga as a student. But Bragg said the verification of Ntshanga's student status was simply a matter of calling information or looking in a student directory.

Dean of Students Archie C. Epps III confirmed Ntshanga's story in an interview last week.

Epps, who publicly apologized to Ntshanga in an article in last Friday's issue of The Crimson, criticized police procedure in the matter.

"I believe that the police should have followed normal practice and called one of the deans or his house staff to verify that he was a student in the College," Epps said last week.

Bragg, who knows Ntshanga only as an"acquaintance," said that if he were in Ntshanga'sposition, he would have pursued a civil lawsuitagainst Harvard.

Ntshanga said in an interview last month thathe is not planning to file a lawsuit.

Bragg said strict rules for police are neededto decrease the number of racially motivatedincidents on Harvard's campus.

He also lauded attempts by the administrationto improve student-police relations.

Epps and the BSA are co-sponsoring apresentation at the Kennedy School of Governmenton April 20. During that presentation, they willshow a videotape on how police should handle casesinvolving college students.

Bragg said the forum had been planned longbefore this incident and was primarily brought onby other, less-publicized racial incidents betweenstudents and Harvard police.

In addition, the University recently signed anagreement to train the leadership of both theCambridge and Harvard police on race relations.The training will begin with an assessmentexercise in June, Epps said.

"I had been working in part because of thiscase and others on police community issues," Eppssaid. "I had been worried...that this area willcause lots of trouble.

Bragg, who knows Ntshanga only as an"acquaintance," said that if he were in Ntshanga'sposition, he would have pursued a civil lawsuitagainst Harvard.

Ntshanga said in an interview last month thathe is not planning to file a lawsuit.

Bragg said strict rules for police are neededto decrease the number of racially motivatedincidents on Harvard's campus.

He also lauded attempts by the administrationto improve student-police relations.

Epps and the BSA are co-sponsoring apresentation at the Kennedy School of Governmenton April 20. During that presentation, they willshow a videotape on how police should handle casesinvolving college students.

Bragg said the forum had been planned longbefore this incident and was primarily brought onby other, less-publicized racial incidents betweenstudents and Harvard police.

In addition, the University recently signed anagreement to train the leadership of both theCambridge and Harvard police on race relations.The training will begin with an assessmentexercise in June, Epps said.

"I had been working in part because of thiscase and others on police community issues," Eppssaid. "I had been worried...that this area willcause lots of trouble.

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