Things seem to have gone off the rails in former mayor David Dinkins’s urban public policy class at Columbia tonight, where Police Commissioner Ray Kelly was the visiting guest along with federal judge George Daniels and Manhattan D.A. Cy Vance Jr. According to Bwog, Kelly was speaking when students started projecting photos of cops beating protesters on the screen behind him. The projection was then turned around to face Kelly:
People started shifting awkwardly in their chairs, then shifting much more awkwardly when the student turned the projector around so that the film was facing Kelly as he continued to speak. Kelly ignored the film, finished answering his question and called on another student, who was interrupted by a young man reading a textbook about military history.
This student stood up and called for Kelly’s resignation. “Are you serious, Kelly?” he asked. “Resign now.” Professor Dinkins sprung up from his chair and instructed the young man to “take it easy.” Several students asked if he was even registered for the course. “No, I go to NYU,” he said. A groan went up and students began asking him to leave.
“Well, this is very intimidating,” Kelly said, grinning.
The NYU student stood up, got his coat and textbook, told the class he’d been arrested three times for “freedom of speech on this land,” and walked out the door.
Goodness. It gets more awkward: another student asked Kelly about drug arrests, “and things got confrontational between the student, Kelly, and Dinkins pretty quickly.” It turned out that that student was not registered for the class, at which point Kelly leaned over to Cy Vance and stage-whispered “Says something about the security of this school, doesn’t it?” Bwog says Kelly got a round of applause when he left class 30 minutes before the end.
Democracy Now! reporter Ryan Devereaux was on the scene and tweeting about it: