Alexander Cecil McNab, a 23-year-old senior at Columbia University, was involved in an incident with campus public safety officers that led to multiple officers being placed on leave after they pinned him down and used excessive force to restrain him. Because it is 2019, the incident was captured on camera.
McNab was restrained for failing to show his student identification card. When the police became physical, McNab fired back by expressing his knowledge of his rights, according to the New York Post.
“You have no right to touch me!” McNab can be heard saying. “Take your hands off me! You’re going to take your hands off me! Take your hands off me!
“Let me show you my ID. You want to see my ID? I am a Columbia University student. You see this? That’s me. This is the third time Barnard Public Safety has chased me down and you put your hands on me. I didn’t touch any of you. You ought to be ashamed of yourselves!”
A total of six officers involved in the incident were suspended, according to the Columbia Spectator.
Here is the video:
Barnard Public Safety President Sian Leah Beilock addressed the situation once the video went viral.
“I am as deeply troubled by what we witnessed in those videos as you are,” Beiock said in a statement. “I sincerely apologize to the Columbia student involved and have reached out to him to better understand his experience on campus. I also apologize to the students who witnessed it and were treated disrespectfully, and to all who have felt its impact. We must ensure that public safety officers act equitably toward all and that the community trusts this will occur. That work is now underway, effective immediately.
“The reality is that conversations about race, racial bias, and racial profiling need to take place, and I acknowledge that Barnard College must participate authentically in this vital dialogue — including me. I want to be clear that racism has no place on our campus.”
According to McNab, he was working on his anthropology thesis and was looking for some food at the time of the incident.