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Somebody needs to answer for this.

A report in The Harvard Crimson details a harrowing experience that Black students at Harvard University, the esteemed Ivy League school, had to endure for someone’s sick entertainment. Jarah K. Cotton, Jazmin N. Dunlap, David G. Madzivanyika and Alexandra C. René were awakened at 4 a.m. early Monday morning by the sound of violent banging on the door of their suite. Cotton says when she got to the door she saw police officers donned in riot gear holding a tactical rifle.

“All I can recall having in my mind is ‘I haven’t done anything,’” Cotton said. “I really had no clue why they were raiding our suite.”

After being ushered into another suite at gunpoint and having their rooms swept for weapons, one of the officers explained that they had received a false report that an armed person was aiming to harm people.

HUPD spokesperson Steven G. Catalano said in an interview that Harvard University Police were dispatched to the building after a report “threatening violence against occupants.” The officers searched the Leverett House suite with “negative results for an individual with a firearm or any persons acting in a suspicious manner,” Catalano said.

It goes without saying that each of the students accosted as well as their classmates who witnessed the raid were shaken and extremely upset.

“We were all extremely scared, particularly because my roommates and I are Black students who have been bombarded our whole lives with stories and images portraying how situations such as this had ended up terribly,” Cotton wrote in an email to The Crimson Monday. “We felt our lives were in danger. We are traumatized.”’

Residence deans contacted students via email to inform them of what happened, but Cotton says that isn’t enough, and she’s disappointed in Harvard’s response and lack of acknowledgement.

“At least tell people what happened, tell people about swatting,” Cotton added. “Students are learning about this via Sidechat and other social media platforms. I don’t think that’s how things should be done.”

We’re glad that this incident didn’t go left, but it easily could have and what a sh-t show that would have been.


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