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Messages from President Enyedi and UP Chief Pat Rascoe

hawkins hall

October 28, 2021

Dear Campus Community,

Over the past several days, I have had the opportunity to meet with student leaders, the faculty senate executive committee, and those who attended the Truth, Racial Healing and Transformation Center restorative circle in the H.U.B. to discuss the traffic stop incident last week. These conversations have been constructive and are a part of our steps forward as a campus.

In many of these meetings, faculty, students and staff have asked for access to the full dashcam video and police report. Both are part of the law enforcement record and are being shared by the University Police at the following links: 

UP Dashcam Video: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1gxUDIkdNQnLe-r9MbfB8THmS-uCUl2BX/view?usp=sharing

University Police Report: https://www.plattsburgh.edu/_documents/plattslife/10282021-police-report.pdf

Be aware that the video and report go into detail and may be distressing. Those in need of support are encouraged to call the university Counseling Center at 518-564-2376 at or the Clinton County Mental Health Department at 518-565-4060 for counseling and other local resources.

There is still more to do, and we will be sharing additional information with you in the coming days.

Alexander Enyedi



October 24, 2021                             

Dear Campus Community,                                                                                                          

I am writing to address the incident involving a traffic stop that took place last Thursday night when a UP officer stopped a vehicle with its headlights off on a Plattsburgh city street. The driver, a SUNY Plattsburgh student who identifies as a Black female, was arrested based on several additional violations, and her car was impounded according to protocol. During this process, the student resisted arrest and the officers resorted to the use of physical force (gripped her arms while walking her to the UP vehicle).

While the above summary presents the straightforward facts of this incident, they also presented an opportunity, that night, for the kind of trauma-informed, student-centered response that our officers always strive to provide.

However, last Thursday night we fell short of this goal.

I understand that the driver and her passenger felt fearful, threatened, and traumatized by the events of that evening. I also understand that the campus community is feeling hurt, angry, and additionally traumatized by the knowledge that some of our police response was neither trauma-informed nor student-centered, as the focus remained solely on proper process and procedure, without accounting for the students’ very real fear and confusion around the events that were rapidly unfolding.

As the chief of police, I have always led the SUNY Plattsburgh University Police department with the belief that we best serve our campus community by not only addressing the issue at hand, but by helping to resolve the overall situation. We aim to do this daily while recognizing the diverse population we serve with the understanding no two people share the same experiences or life situations. This is what makes campus policing unique. Our officers are trained and supervised to approach their work with compassion, active listening, and a focus on developing solutions to problems rather than delivering hardline ultimatums. And we strive to operate in a trauma-informed, student-centered manner.

There is a path forward from this. I am in ongoing conversations with the President about next steps. Today we discussed the possibility of forming a student/police campus relations Advisory Group, among other ideas, and will share more as we move forward.

It is my expectation that in the coming days and weeks, as we work to address and further respond to this issue, UP will become better and stronger, and together we will move forward and begin to heal as a community.

Pat Rascoe, University Police Chief


October 23, 2021

Dear Campus Community,                                                                          

Yesterday was a difficult day for our campus community as we were made aware of an incident involving a Black female student and three white University Police officers during a traffic stop. As your President, I am committed to keeping you informed by sharing the steps the college is taking to support the student and look into the actions of the officers involved.

On Friday, I spoke with the driver of the car and her passenger, also a SUNY Plattsburgh student, to let them know that I was aware of the incident and was addressing it. The students, both of whom identify as Black women, indicated to me that they were traumatized by the experience. They expressed fear for their safety and confusion about why the driver had been stopped and arrested. I mobilized our campus Diversity Incident Response Education and Communication Team (DIRECT), which oversees the college's response to bias incidents, hate speech or hate crimes. DIRECT met to review the dashboard video and provide integrated support to the student and as a preliminary step, referred the matter to Human Resources. I have also reviewed the police report with our University Chief of Police as I work to better understand the full context of what occurred and to determine next steps to be taken.

I fully recognize that what these two students experienced is rooted in a larger systemic pattern of oppressions inflicted on Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC). At SUNY Plattsburgh, we have the obligation and the opportunity to do better and be better as a diverse campus that tolerates nothing less than equity and inclusion for all who work and study here. Every one of us must participate to create and genuinely sustain an environment that shows our commitment to our BIPOC students, faculty and staff, and we must all do our part in creating a safe campus. I expect nothing less from any member of our Cardinal community. As long as one of us feels unsafe, we have failed in our shared mission and our shared responsibility.

Please know that I remain steadfastly committed to creating and maintaining a safe, fair, and just campus. I will continue to engage with all parties involved in this incident, and I will be considering longer-term responses to address broader issues of diversity, equity and inclusion for our BIPOC community. I will update you as more information becomes available.

I recognize that these situations are always difficult and traumatic whenever they occur within a community, and I ask that you please reach out if you feel that you need support. Students can call our Counseling Center staff at 518-564-2376 or email them at  [email protected] and faculty and staff can reach out to Clinton County Mental Health at 518-565-4060.

Alexander Enyedi, President

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