Smith College employee placed on leave after calling police on black student


CNN reports campus police responded to the call, but upon seeing Kanoute, determined that there was nothing suspicious about her. The employee, who hasn't been identified, has been placed on leave pending the result, the school said.

Smith College, which has acknowledged an incident that matches Kanoute's description of what happened but has not named the student, on Friday put the employee who placed the call to campus police on leave pending the outcome of an external investigation, according to an online statement.

Reporting Caller: I was just walking through here in the front foyer of [REDACTED] and we have a person sitting there laying down in the living room area over here. "I want a public apology from that caller and I want them fired from the school".

Kanoute whipped out her phone and recorded video of what was going on, which she later posted on Facebook and is heard nervously responding, "I was just eating my lunch".

Reporting Caller: Alright. I'll wait over here.

Her story and video of the encounter where she is calmly talking to the police went viral and soon she was inundated with media requests and the social media fame.

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Oumou Kanoute: "It just still upsets me to just talk about it, because I don't even feel safe on my own campus".

"I begin by offering the student involved my deepest apology that this incident occurred and to assure her that she belongs in all Smith spaces", McCartney wrote in a letter to the college.

"I want to know what was said during that call that dehumanized me and criminalized me", she said. I'm doing this not only for me but for my family, for my ancestors. "This painful incident reminds us of the ongoing legacy of racism and bias in which people of color are targeted while simply going about the business of their daily lives". University officials and campus police will also try to improve protocols for responding to calls for assistance, she said. "Clearly, we have important work to do going forward as a community". Campus police are already trained on issues surrounding diversity, equity and inclusion and implicit bias, the school has said.

She asked for the name of the employee to be released - either publicly or just to her, and for a face-to-face meeting with the employee and representation from the school.

Kanoute insisted that the process must also be accompanied by beginning a "mandatory campus-wide conversation and new school policy concerning racism, gender and policing that centers the voices of students and faculty of color when we return from summer vacation in Fall 2018". "I was terrified", Kanoute said.