Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Twitter threats to black Kean students made by black alum, police say. Is she just keeping the narrative going?

Twitter threats to black Kean students made by black alum, police say

Jessica Remo | NJ Advance Media for NJ.comBy Jessica Remo | NJ Advance Media for 
on December 01, 2015 at 1:12 PM, updated December 02, 2015 at 9:09 AM
ELIZABETH — A recent Kean graduate has been charged with being responsible for a series of tweets threatening black students at the school two weeks ago, acting Union County Prosecutor Grace H. Park announced Tuesday.
Kayla-Simone McKelvey, 24, of Union – a black alum who graduated in May – was charged by summons with third-degree creating a false public alarm.
Students react after Kean Twitter threat Kean students react and sound-off after an anonymous Twitter user sent messages threatening to shoot black students at the university. (Video by Adam Clark & Amanda Marzullo | NJ Advance Media for 
Park said an investigation by the Union County Prosecutor's Office's Special Prosecutions Unit and Kean University police found that McKelvey, a self-proclaimed activist, participated in a student rally to raise awareness of racism on college campuses on Nov. 17, but left midway through and walked to a computer station in a university library.
Once there, McKelvey allegedly created an anonymous Twitter account –  @keanuagainstblk – and began posting threats of violence against black Kean students.
The first message around 10 p.m. said "kean university twitter against blacks is for everyone who hates blacks people" and a tweet about there being a bomb on the campus, and then continued with several other tweets about shooting black students at the university.
i will kill every black male and female at kean university
— kean university (@keanuagainstblk) November 18, 2015
After making the posts, McKelvey returned to the rally and attempted to spread awareness of the threats, authorities said.
That night on McKelvey's personal Twitter account she posted photos of the rally and screenshots of the tweets.
The university said approximately 100 students participated in "a peaceful rally" on campus that night with 10 students spending the night at the clock tower, "joining students across the nation to raise awareness of recent racial unrest at the University of Missouri and other college campuses."
Kean Twitter threat: I will shoot black students at Kean University
This morning, the school responded on social media accounts, advising students that they are working to identify the person behind the account, but that classes will be held as scheduled.

According to McKelvey's LinkedIn profile, she graduated from Kean this May with a degree in Global Fitness and Wellness and currently works as a personal trainer. She was also the school's 2014 homecoming queen and president of the Pan African Student Union, according to her profile.
A March article by Kean's student newspaper the Tower says McKelvey was also the organizer of a rally based on allegations of racism against a professor and Kean's Student Organization, but that "little to no evidence emerged to support the claims."
In response to the announcement of the charge, Kean released the following statement:
"We are saddened to learn that the person allegedly responsible was an active participant in the rally that took place on campus on Tuesday, November 17 and is a former student of Kean. As a diverse academic community, we wholeheartedly respect and support activism, however, no cause or issue gives anyone the right to threaten the safety of others. We hope this information will begin to bring a sense of relief and security to the campus community."
Kean President Dawood Farahi spoke to students Tuesday afternoon during a previously planned campus discussion at the student center.
Twitter threats won't 'tear us apart,' Kean pres tells students
Kean University brought students and faculty together to discuss issues that led to a protest over racism on campus.

He called the tweets a "heinous crime" and said, "We are saddened the person allegedly responsible was an active participant (of the demonstration) and a former student. No cause, no cause, can give anybody the right to threaten others."
The investigation also revealed that there was never any plan to harm students, the prosecutor's office said.
McKelvey's first court appearance has been scheduled for Dec. 14.

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