Friday, July 11, 2014

Family alleges racial bias at King’s

February 21. 2014 11:41PM

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WILKES-BARRE — The Wilkes-Barre Chapter of the NAACP is looking into allegations that King’s College has a racially biased disciplinary policy.

Chapter President Ronald Felton said in a news release that brothers Cardell Greene, 24, and Christopher Greene, 21, four-year students at the private Catholic college set to graduate in May, “encountered some issues during the last two years of their college career at King’s.”

Felton said he was made aware of the allegations by the boys’ father, Cardell Greene. “It seems there is inconsistency in terms of how campus security handles things off campus,” Felton said in a phone interview.

When one of the brothers was attacked off campus, the family was told that campus security has no jurisdiction off campus. However, when the brothers were in an off-campus house at which an altercation took place, campus security got involved, the elder Cardell Greene, a National Guard employee now stationed in Bear, Del., said in a phone interview.

The students’ father alleges that the Greene brothers and several other minority students were subjected to harassment, discrimination, intimidation and threats by members of college security.

Greene said several items were stolen from the house in which his sons reside on Bennett Street near the campus in December, and that the alleged burglar, a King’s student at the time, was reportedly offered money by two other King’s students to burglarize the house.

The father said college security camera footage would provide evidence of the burglar’s identity, yet the man was allowed to walk the campus for nearly two months until he was arrested in Hanover Township on drug charges.

The incident was reported to city police, but the Greenes don’t believe they received adequate cooperation. And the students’ father doesn’t feel King’s has been responsive either.

Felton said he sent a letter to the Rev. John Ryan, president of King’s, on Feb. 12 requesting a meeting with the Greenes but received no response, and that he has “played phone tag” with a detective to whom Police Chief Gerard Dessoye referred him.

College spokesman John McAndrew provided copies of letters of response dated Feb. 17 that he said Ryan and King’s Vice President for Business Affairs and CFO John Loyack, to whom campus security reports, sent to Felton.

“This correspondence directly and promptly addressed the issues raised by Mr. Felton in his outreach to King’s. King’s takes the allegations very seriously, and King’s has acted accordingly throughout this process,” McAndrew said.

Ryan said in his letter that the break-in “has been taken most seriously by the college,” that school representatives have been “in regular contact” with city police and the Greene brothers, that King’s fully cooperated with the police investigation, and that the Greenes were provided updates on the college’s investigation.

Ryan said King’s “remains committed to diversity in our community” and that while he hopes his and Loyack’s letters satisfy Felton’s concerns, he remains willing to meet with him.

Loyack noted in his letter that the man involved in the break-in had been expelled and that the investigation by campus security led to a confession and the dismissal.

NAACP chapter representatives will have an open meeting with the Greenes at 11:30 a.m. today at Mount Zion Baptist Church to get more information.

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