UPDATE: LAPD, DPS hold open forum for students

Video from the scene, courtesy of USC Black Student Assembly.


Students, alumni, faculty and community members voiced their concerns at an emotional open forum between the Dept. of Public Safety and the Los Angeles Police Department Tuesday evening in the Ronald Tutor Campus Center Ballroom, which was filled to capacity.

The ballroom reached capacity at 750 students and an additional 200 students were turned away at the door.

The forum was organized in response to events at an off-campus student graduation party on 23rd and Hoover streets early Saturday morning where six students were arrested by more than 79 LAPD officers.

Students participated in a campus sit-in Monday at Tommy Trojan from noon to 4 p.m. to protest against the excessive force used by more than 79 LAPD officers in response to the noise complaint.

The forum was moderated by Roy P. Crocker Professor of Law Jody Armour. Panelists included  Capt. Paul Snell of the LAPD Southwest Division, Inspector General Alex Bustamante, Cmdr. Bill Scott of LAPD, Chief John Thomas of DPS, Commanding Officer of Operations South Bureau Bob Green and USC Vice President for Student Affairs Michael Jackson participated in the discussion.

Rikiesha Pierce, a senior majoring in sociology, was one of the key organizers and was the first to speak at the event. After she published an article on racial profiling in the community, Pierce was contacted by Thomas and Snell, who collaborated with her to hold the forum.

“When students are being humiliated by their community law enforcement, there is a fundamental problem there and, even deeper, no one said nothing,” Pierce said. “This meeting was an attempt at reconciliation and at collaboration.”

The event opened with the presentation of a compilation of videos recorded by students at the scene of the incident. Video clips showed students being handcuffed by police and even one female student crying out in pain as she was handcuffed on the ground.

“That was a very sobering video,” Jackson said. “It really brings focus to this discussion and helps, for those of us who weren’t there, visualize what occurred and how our students were put into a very vulnerable position.”

The host of the party Nate Howard, a senior majoring in communication who was arrested Saturday morning, began to cry as he emphasized that it is up to the millennial generation to work together and change the current situation. He received a standing ovation after stressing the need for unity to correct the flaws of law enforcement.

“I have a voice and I spoke it. It’s up to our generation,” Howard said. “We have to move on for something bigger.”

Armour asked both DPS and LAPD officers and representatives questions about issues regarding racial profiling and the social consequences of race-based judgements. LAPD responded saying that police placed a distress call because they believed their safety was in danger.

“We do not believe at this point that there were any indications that this was race based,” Snell said. “What I would like focus on now is how we can move forward. We do not want this to happen again.”

The majority of audience members rose their hands when Scott asked if they believed the response from LAPD was race-based.

When asked about the support the students who were arrested can expect to receive from the university, Thomas said that he is in dialogue with the students and their parents to make sure that they are cared for and that they will not have to pay bail. Jackson responded that he is not in favor of the current charges being pressed against the students.

“The key for us right now with respect to the students is to give them as much support as we possibly can and to advocate, from my perspective, that these charges should be dropped,” Jackson said.

Updated on May 8th at 6:30 P.M.

President C. L. Max Nikias released a statement Wednesday evening responding to the events at the party. He said he has been updated by his senior staff since early after the incident.

“I had complete confidence in my leaders as they fully briefed me in advance on their discussions with student leaders and the plan for last night’s forum,” Nikias said in a statement. “I was pleased that there was an opportunity for an open dialogue and for people to express concerns.”

Nikias said that he remains optimistic about the future relations between the university and its students.

“We are confident we will move ahead from this issue in an even more productive and positive,” Nikias said.

At the forum, students and the parents of the arrested students proceeded to spend an hour giving testimonies of their experiences during the night of the incident. They expressed love for their university but also stated the desire for DPS and LAPD to actively create the open discussion they talked about. Students also yelled out from the crowd asking where President Nikias was during this open forum.

Evan Vujovich, a senior majoring in music industry who lives in the house across the street that hosted a party at the same time, said that the police did not address his party first, which refuted previous reports.

“Our party ended but we were not asked to disperse, we were not asked to go home, we were not pushed out of our party that was also peaceful,” Vujovich said. “Our party was equally loud, had at least as many people and our party wasn’t even registered with DPS.”

Jason Sneed, a senior majoring in philosophy, politics and law and one of the students who was arrested, addressed the social media movement that helped gather interest in the event. The hashtag #USChangeMovement was a trending topic in the Los Angeles area on Twitter while the forum was still in progress.

“We’re here today based off of facebook, emails and Twitter,” Sneed said. “If we can create a movement based on social media, how much more powerful can we be?”

Photos by Shoko Oda

66 replies
  1. USC parent
    USC parent says:

    Emotions are clearly high at this point for many students. Their angst is real and unfortunate. I feel for them.

    This tragedy for the involved students and USC is yet another result in the long history of misguided, permissive, wholly dysfunctional leadership from Dr. Michael Jackson. There is much to do for the new Dean of Student Affairs to restore a sense of safety for students and build an enjoyable and heathy social atmosphere as found on other top university campuses. It appears to me Dr. Jackson is externalizing through his leadership some personal issues–always a recipe for disaster of which USC has seen far too many.

  2. Tutors Toronto
    Tutors Toronto says:

    Students and everyone for that matter has a right to challenge any system to make sure that there are checks and balances. As long as it is a non-violent protest then the students have a full right to make their point.

  3. Paul Howard
    Paul Howard says:

    I have been following the comments to this article and I see that there are numerous posts citing scholarly achievement and high grade point average. My observation is that there is a claimed injustice perpetrated on those scholars that were simply participating in a party with loud amplified music and an overly exuberant DJ that “shouted out”.
    It so happens that I have done considerable scholarly research at the intersection of neighborhood noise annoyance and the intensity of party sound emanation. Based on my empirical results conducted at dozens of university student late night parties, I suggest the following as a solution:
    1) For each 0.1 point the aggregate grade point average of the party attendees exceeds 3.0, the allowable sound level in the LA City noise ordinance shall increase by 2.0 dbA above 120 dbA at a distance of 300 feet, but in no case shall it exceed the threshold of pain. The party end time shall also increase by 0.25 hour for each 0.1 GPA increment above 3.0. The rational is that these students are so gifted that they don’t have to study all that much.
    2) For each 0.1 point that said aggregate grade point average is less than 3.0 the party end time shall be decreased by 0.5 hour from 2 AM. The rationale is that these students should party less and study more.

    Please have the new USC Dean of Students consider this approach when faced with scholarly student vs.law enforcement confrontations in the future.

    • Just Sayin
      Just Sayin says:

      That is a cute and snarky comment you thought up, but the point is not that their being scholars excuses the noise violation of the party, Paul.

      The problem is that, of two otherwise equal parties (in regards to noise), only one received the perceived over-the-top treatment; and some of the strongest allegations of this come from the students from the other party, who claim openly to have thrown an even more out-of-hand party and received far lesser punishment. I don’t think anyone on this page is citing the GPAs of the students in order to prove the point that their noise violation was excusable, the GPA citations are here in order to combat the views of some that these students should not be accepted to USC because their skin color somehow indicates the fact that they are academically under-qualified. The GPA argument is to rebut the claim that black students here are only accepted in order to foster diversity and not because they deserve to be here.

      Also, the claimed injustice isn’t that their party was shut down, it was that students were called the N word. Also that a young lady was manhandled by policemen and one policewomen who, when asked afterwards what the charge was, answered that it was “just a big waste of time.”

      I’m glad that you are into doing scholarly research and using empirical evidence to investigate important topics, please continue to do so. It is perfectly reasonable to take issue with college students making too much noise and frustrating the community, but that isn’t what the GPA argument is about.

  4. CityEye
    CityEye says:

    To the USC students: I attended a community meeting in South LA with mostly adults. They were mostly black baby boomer and they brought up an important issue that not one media outlet reported. Many in the audience felt the USC students from both the black and white parties showed the ENTIRE NATION how in this day and age they are still SEGREGATED into races. Instead of pointing fingers at LAPD and instead of starting a movement against LAPD they are being hypocrites and should look into the mirror and start a movement to STOP THE SEGREGATION at USC. They should be ashamed of themselves for showing the youth of today that in 2013 USC college students can’t intermingle at parties. They had a black/Latino party and a white party. That is appalling and beyond shameful and these are the students who held up signs saying “We are Rhode Scholars not Criminals. The sign should have read WE ARE STILL RACIST and don’t want to intermingle with other races.

    • Just Sayin
      Just Sayin says:

      To CityEye: I attended something more credible than some community meeting in South LA with mostly adults. I attend the University of Southern California. And rather than reaching a conclusion that our school and our students are racists and segregated because you have read in the news that there was a “white party” and a “black party,” look instead at the meeting that we had with community leaders and LAPD officials. It was a room full of 1200 white people, black people, latinos, and asians and there were 400 more people outside who physically couldn’t fit into the room. They were all there because they were showing support for their FRIENDS.

      USC students do intermingle at parties. Maybe not every single party that is thrown is a perfect reflection of the ethnic ratio of the student body, but you have got to be joking if you are going to look at the facts of this case (a case where innocent kids were treated like criminals and whose human rights were violated) and find issue ONLY with the fact that their party was mostly black and latino students.

      Come on man. If you are so inclined to make these judgments, please don’t send your son or daughter to my school because I love the fact that the students here represent such a broad spectrum of race and background. We have the highest percentage of international students of any school in the country. I live in a house with two white guys, one half asian guy, one Mexican guy, one half Salvadoran guy, and one black guy. We are all USC students and we are all set up with great gigs for when we graduate in a week.

      So go ahead and write that sign if you want (WE ARE STILL RACIST) but don’t put it in the hands of my friends who were called the N word by LAPD, put it in the hands of the handful of police officers whose actions negatively affect the image of all of the good, hardworking, and upstanding policemen and policewomen in the LAPD.

      Just Sayin

  5. V
    V says:

    This is what we get for all of our money and support of these disadvantaged students? Near riots in the street because the cops asked them to quite down their party?

    Disgraceful. These students need to understand that a USC education is a priviledge not an entitlement. Scholarships can be rescinded for conduct unbecoming the university.

    This seems to be such a case.

    • USC Fan
      USC Fan says:

      The majority of scholarships at USC do not go to ‘disadvantaged’ students, yet some folks seem to require greater accountability from them rather than from the ‘average’ student on campus. Best to do some fact checking before making such an unfortunate and biased statement.

    • Just Sayin
      Just Sayin says:

      I need to review the facts, of course, but I am almost 100% certain that at no point during the exchange did even one police officer ask any students at either party to “quite” down.

      If you are going to insult my brothers and sisters, at least spell the insult correctly.

      Just sayin.

  6. USC Prof
    USC Prof says:

    The ignorance and bigotry on this thread is shocking and disgusting. It is abundantly clear that we should, at the very least, be worried (as a community) about the racial motivations of the LAPD in this situation, and, more generally, about the marginalization of black students who we are so lucky to have. I know many of the involved parties personally and they are impressive and upstanding individuals with as firm a commitment to their studies as any students I’ve had. This conspiracy-mongering and affirmative action-bashing is so vile that I’m posting this even though I recognize it won’t do a thing to mitigate the colossal idiocy that produces such comments. Fight on!

    • Neuroscience Senior
      Neuroscience Senior says:

      Well said USC Prof; it’s kind of sad that a lot of these false assumptions, rush to judgments, stereotypes, and negative statements are coming from current USC Trojans, alumni, or relatives of Trojans.

  7. JimHop
    JimHop says:

    Even the white cop had to wipe away a tear… Who would of thought Lil’ Wayne would be the next Rosa Parks?

  8. Evan
    Evan says:

    Good luck trying to get a job with a Felany Arrest on your record, Nate. You just blew four years of your hard work and our hard earned money paying your way through USC.

    It seems we backed the wrong horse. You guys are fools.

    • Lisa
      Lisa says:

      Nate was not charged with a felony arrest – so please do not make false assumptions.

      Nate is a young man with a very bright future. Anyone who knows him, including his professors and employers, know that.

      Sorry you didn’t have the opportunity of ever knowing him – YOU, Evan, are the fool.

    • Michael Wang
      Michael Wang says:

      Scumbag Evan – Making assumptions in a racially charged tone but doesn’t include his last name because he doesn’t want the world to know he’s a narrow-minded tool.

    • Just Sayin
      Just Sayin says:

      Just to add to Lisa’s point (and a great point it was, Lisa), Nate was also not charged (at least to my knowledge) with a “Felany” either, considering that is not something that exists within our legal system.

      Instead of worrying about which horse to back with your hard earned money, read a book Evan.

      Just sayin.

  9. Mary
    Mary says:

    You can take ’em out of the hood but you cannot take the hood out of them. We better get ready for more of this selfish egocentric behavior; it seems to occur more and more.

    Affirmative Action comes with a price.

    • Just Sayin
      Just Sayin says:

      Yeah Mary!!! What an argument you’ve made!!!

      I could not agree more that Affirmative Action comes with a price. Affirmative Action is defined as “policies that take factors including race, color, religion, sex, or national origin into consideration in order to benefit an underrepresented group in areas of employment, education, and business”.

      The price, however, is what you and I disagree upon. The price, regardless of your asinine ‘argument,’ that accompanies diversity in the classroom is that of responsibility – namely, the responsibility to step out of one’s own world and to truly attempt to understand the views and opinions of others. It is not always easy to see the world through someone else’s eyes – as evidenced by the fact that it is tough for me to understand the viewpoint of rich, entitled kids who drive ferraris despite never having had a paid job and who still call hardworking black students selfish or undeserving of the GPA’s they have earned because of some bogus assumption that the only reason these students are here is because of race.

      Also, being black does not necessitate “being from the hood” and more than being white necessitates being from Beverly Hills. And purely from a semantic point of view, you have equated “taking race into consideration” with making a decision based entirely upon race.

      I will now show you how unreasonable your argument is by using the same one against you. Taking your exact same argument, (I am assuming the name Mary implies your being a female) you should not be here either because you have clearly only been accepted because USC wanted more women here. It is impossible that you are here based on merit because you can take the woman out of the kitchen but you cannot take the kitchen out of her.

      Just sayin.

  10. Bob
    Bob says:

    The problem is that USC only very recently had a shooting. They figure the cost of being accused of racism than take even a 1% chance of there being more violence. If I were running a business like they are, I would be doing the same thing.

  11. TTTB
    TTTB says:

    There is a saying; A person will change, on his own, from the inside, or the circumstances of life-outside forces-will change him. It’s a futile attempt to have dialogue with anyone who has a resolve that can not be penetrated. This resolve is the constitution from which the LAPD regulates Black people in Los Angeles. It’s an ideology that has been perpetuated throughout the history of the LAPD and America for that matter. If you’re provoked, or even irritated by the ambiguity of this charge, then I beseech you, investigate the fictitious innuendos the permeate throughout and reside in the homes of non-Black Americans about Black Americans. This notion continues to be perpetuated by our teachers, who were taught by their parents-which were reiterated by their teachers- who were taught by their parents who received their perception of Black people from a film entitled, “Birth of a Nation” (1915), by D.W.Griffith. Research how this film dictated the climate of our country for an entire century. But I digress. Once we are honest that our rejection to something, foreign or unfamiliar, is purely base on our unwillingness to consider, objectively, with the INTENTION to understand, a reality that seems incomprehensible to us, but is a life lived by others, then we can discuss, confront, and resolve all differences. Understanding is confrontational. Honesty is confrontational. Reconstruction if confrontational. Confrontation allows us to grow, but only if we are open to change. I am proud to be a Trojan. I am proud to be an American. And I am proud to be a father If my son were to ever hit another child for no reason, he would be reprimanded by me because he is not allowed to be a bully any person because a bully hurts other people. To give him a more potent reality of what bullying could potentially cause, i would show him video footage and literature about how children his age had been driven to suicide due to a bully.Therefore, when USC, LAPD, or the USA reacts inappropriately, it is our responsibility as Americans to stand for liberty an justice, in attempts to correct a behavior that could be problematic to the advancement of the people of our school, our city, and our country. Unfortunately if one doesn’t change from the inside, the circumstances of life will change us. And that change can be a hash reality. How many people can we name that have became activist for the research of cancer, or AIDS only after someone close to them were diagnosed with it or died from it? That’s a harsh and devastating circumstance of life. To experience and witness the slow decay of someone you know as strong and independent be reduced to a stagnant body that can’t use the restroom on their own or have to wear a diaper will transform one’s sensibilities, and opened them up to how real those deceases are and how imperative it is for research to be done to find a cure. It will change your life. I know, personally. We have to realize that it’s difficult for a privileged, well-to-do, family to understand the plight of the unfortunate circumstances of the poor. That takes an empathy that most of the wealthy don’t realize that they possess. Their understanding is feeding the homeless on holiday’s then looking at them with contempt if a homeless person ask for change outside of a 7-11 market. Its difficult for the poor to understand the plights of the wealthy, because it takes experience to understand the grim company the comes with wealth; the facade, the maintenance, the loneliness, the pressure. When a young person is passionate about becoming a filmmaker his/her pursuit is unconditional. When our pursuit to understand each other is more significant than our desire to be right, we will move forward as people. If I can say one thing thats encouraging; the racist parents, and grandparents that perpetuate hate to their children-cause it’s taught-is dying off. Although racisim ,and prejudices are still alive and well, as we witness Gays struggle for the right to be married-to be treated as human beings in their own country-the lines that were set to divide us are beginning blurred. So as you continue to confront, pick your battles. Debate with people that are open to change, not to someone that considers themselves to be superior to another person. Remember, the racist generation is dying off, and they are upset because their children are recognizing that their parents ideology is flawed, Parents are being face with the reality that their children actions can not be controlled by the manipulation of their parents, or religion. Their children are starting to pay attention, realize, and understand things that contradicts the realities forced on them by their parent. The parents have lost control and they are scared shitless.

  12. Neuroscience Senior
    Neuroscience Senior says:

    To Sara & Trojan

    The reason I mentioned GPA was NOT to justify any arguable behavior but to rebut Bill’s false statement:

    “These students are a disgrace to USC. It is no coincidence that the academic ratings of USC have fallen since Nikias initiated his Diversity at any Cost Plan. We are letting into the university students who simply would not qualify under normal procedures and we are paying the price for their shenanigans: ”

    I do agree that should anyone break a law, then he/she should be held accountable as a citizen, regardless of race, religion, GPA, school, gender, whatever. However, it seemed that you both think that I meant her grades should give her the right to break a law (which I don’t think they did but let’s wait and see the evidence) which I DID NOT say or mean.

    A more thorough and complete read of my comments would yield that I did NOT say that they are completely innocent yet but rather that certain commenters’ characterizations and depictions of these students are wholeheartedly biased, unfair, and stereotypical. A good example is Bill. A complete fallacy and illogical rush to judgment. Additionally, I believe it’s only fair to BOTH LAPD & the arrested students that we, as outsiders, should RESERVE our judgment as more evidence & findings come up.

    @Sara: You’re right that Character does not match GPA. But I never said that in the first place, so it doesn’t mean much. I can’t JUDGE her character because I don’t know her enough and the events in dispute is still very unsettled. Don’t you think this should be “Innocent until proven guilty” as is standard by US law?

    @Trojan: I respect your more civil tone in comparison to some other posters on this article so props to that.

    But if excessive noise is illegal, then why warrant 80 LAPD officers for a typical college party? Sure, ok so the first time around, one officer comes and tells them to tone it down which they comply–that’s not in dispute. They go to the other house across the street and tell them to do the same and then come back to this party which was emptying out as can be seen on the youtube video. Can you really say that they “were not emptying out fast enough” as a premise to warrant arrest and bring in 79 officers & helicopters? And what about the party across the street? If so, then man, parties on the Row and every USC party I know would have LAPD breaking their doors all the time and half of our student body would be arrested at one point or another. And as for the case of beer bottles being thrown, that account only came from the police–once again, biased source. If, however, there is video of a bottle being thrown, or a student waving it and swinging it at an officer(s) or at the very least if a formal medical report surfaced showing that officer(s) sustained damage from a bottle then I would be more inclined to believe them.

    I’m not saying the students should be completely absolved of guilt yet because all I see from the other side is “statements from the police” and their “internal investigation” which pretty means nothing to us on the outside. I am curious what the police car dash cameras have recorded since a lot of these arrests were caught on those dashcams.

    Furthermore, the idea of excessive noise warranting a huge police response is completely subjective. The degree to which the LAPD responded to this “excessive noise complaint” and their conduct (according to many witnesses) as a professional community law enforcement is very questionable and well worth looking into which I hope is going on. Why did they not arrest a single person from the other party across the street that was equally disruptive? We have multiple witness testimonies from yesterday’s forum indicating that the officers did not lay a finger on the “Mostly White” party and the video clearly depicted how they treated the “Mostly Black” party. Even Dr. Michael Jackson said the video was “sobering” to watch.

    If there is indeed clear evidence (now or in the future) that any of the arrested students did indeed break the law, then by all means, he or she should be rightfully arrested and charged. But as of now, to even characterize the arrested in one light or another would be completely unfair and wrong.

  13. Sara
    Sara says:

    Hey Mr. Neuroscience Major:

    Apparently, your “Friend of a Friend’s” character does not match her GPA.

    Believe me “Character is Destiny” not GPA.

  14. Trojan
    Trojan says:

    @ neuroscience major.

    Actually, partying leading to excessive noise is ILLEGAL! These students were breaking the law. Can you not understand that? A 3.96 gpa does not give you the right to be a nuisance, I’m sorry.

    Now, addressing the race or ethnicity of these students, I am going to stay out of that. I don’t know what happened and I was not there. I do agree DPS harassing black or Hispanic students on campus and asking them if they are students is outrageous and a problem in the USC community, but if you are breaking the law at 2 am, you should be arrested.

    I had many of my parties as a student interrupted by the police and went to student judicial affairs my fair amount of times, but I knew what I was getting into and hey, I was being a typical college student…. So I deserved what was coming. I do not agree that these students are now being absolved of their crimes just because they made a huge public outcry!

    You had a huge party! You caused a noise complaint! You didn’t disperse quickly enough and the police felt the need to intervene. They knew you were students, but they were following the LAW, which we are all under. We have made cries for increased security in the area and I am personally happy that the police responded quickly so I can be sure they will respond to any other violations of the law.

      • Neuroscience Senior
        Neuroscience Senior says:

        Please read my response to Trojan’s comments.

        And also, LuvTrojans, I would hope that you follow Trojan’s example and at least be civil & respectful, as should be expected from a fellow USC Trojan.


  15. Ras
    Ras says:

    This is the narcissistic, self entitled, self important douche bag generation of sanctimonious pricks we have developed. These whining students need to first understand they are disturbing their fellow neighbors – therefore the police had to be called in. That alone should have made them feel bad and quickly disperse when the cops showed up. Just because you are a USC student doesn’t mean jack to your neighbor trying to sleep or live with some sanity. What about showing respect to your neighbors? Or is it all about you and how the world needs to bend over backward to suit your wants and needs? I swear – unless these self important douchbags go into the military or some self-sacrificing endeavor – we are just seeing the tip of the iceberg in Enron-Level prick behavior in the future where no one else matter except you.

    • Michael Wang
      Michael Wang says:

      There was a white party across the street that:
      1. Wasn’t registered (unlike the black party)
      2. Made as much, if not more noise and garnered the same complaints from neighbors at the scene
      3. Had USC students just like the black one did

      The only difference?
      The white party was allowed to peacefully disperse but the black party was met with 79 LAPD officers in riot gear.

      You claim to be against narcissism but your comment is about as narcissistic as it can get.

      • Alum
        Alum says:

        Here’s another difference:

        1. When asked to disperse and shut down the party. The white party did. The people at the black party? Not only did they re-start the party, they started throwing bottles and cans at the cops.

        I think that is a pretty big difference to just leave out… The white party wasn’t “allowed’ to peacefully disperse, they decided to. I’ve been to the Pink house plenty of times and when it comes to hosting parties, they know how to do it and they know how to shut it down when the cops show up. I believe the scenarios is more that the black party “refused” to peacefully disperse and that’s when the riot gear came out.

        • Just Sayin
          Just Sayin says:


          “1. When asked to disperse and shut down the party. The white party did. The people at the black party? Not only did they re-start the party, they started throwing bottles and cans at the cops.”

          The white party was not asked to disperse, they were told to stay inside and be safe because they were not perceived as a threat to the police. At the black party, to quote the LAPD officer who was at the meeting the other night, “a can may or may not have been thrown.”

          It would be a pretty big difference to leave out if it were true. Also, while were on the topic of things being left out, my friends were herded into the street and then subsequently cited for jaywalking. But, not until AFTER being called the n word by the arresting officer. Also, nearly all of the black students did peacefully disperse when told to, but officers followed them for blocks as they did – why?

          The white students at the pink house are some of the strongest voices for the fact that the reaction was racist! The overall point is bigger than the question of whether this instance was racist, which the facts will speak to once the investigation concludes; the overall point here is that there is an unquestionable difference in the way people of color are treated in the community here (not just at USC) than how white people are treated and it is unsettling.

          • ras
            ras says:

            The LAPD is not in the business of trying to make trouble for themselves especially if they know prissy, p*ssy USC students are going to be whining and b*tching later. the fact is the police needs to address thug behavior and not let thugs control the situation. The white party was not engaging in thug behavior – simple so no further police intervention needed. The problem with ghetto black ppl is that they WANT to get into it with authority figures because they WANT to be made a victim so they can cry “hey I’m a victim” because that is what they have been led to believe their role in society is – society’s little victim b*tch. If a black student/citizen first responded “Yes officer, we will end the party” Do you really think LAPD would still have been smacking around the students? The truth is blacks have become now breed to resent and always push back against whatever an authority figure says (possibly because many ghetto blacks never knew their real fathers and never had any authority figures to speak of). We can pretend we are “shocked” and “disgusted” with the real truth I am saying and yet deep inside you know how real I am being. that is also why, BTW, none you you p*ssy students will live in Compton or Watts after you finish school – because you know those areas are filled with the ppl I just described. Play all the politically correct b*llsh*t you want – unless we want to solve a problem and make the current condition better – we can pretend we do not see what is so obvious in front of our eyes.

          • Just Sayin
            Just Sayin says:

            The only thing that is obvious and in front of my eyes is that you, sir, are a racist.

            Spewing disrespect and foul language doesn’t count as an argument, we “p*ssies” learn things like that at USC.

            Even with a bogus arrest on their record, every student at that party – those “ghetto black ppl” are going to end up more successful than you could ever hope to.

            Happy mothers day, but your mother must have been incompetent if what you have written here is any indication of how she raised you.

            Just sayin

    • ladyR
      ladyR says:

      Well said!!! Is there racism? yes. Was this situation unfair for us, the neighbors? yes. we go through it all the time. Does GPA or scholarly status make a difference? NO! If you’re going to address this issue, than I stand by you 100% however, be honest and do the right thing, address all the issues that brought you to this point, don’t just pick and choose. Stop playing the racism card to cover up other factors that played a roll in this matter. Thank you.

  16. AnonymousUSCstudent
    AnonymousUSCstudent says:

    I’m a communication major at USC. I’m gay, so I understand what it feels like to be unfairly targeted by the world at large. Even so, I must say that before any dialogue takes place, certain occurrences of the night in question need to be first proven true or false. Of course I’m referring to the supposed throwing of bottles/cans/objects at LAPD officers. If this is indeed something that happened, it all together changes the context in which this situation played out. If students were being aggressively violent towards officers who were asking that they disperse (there are city ordinances against noise after certain hours of the night, among other things), then the police have every right to detain these individuals. And of course, this makes it not so much a matter of racial profiling as it does breaking laws that are enforceable under the law. I also think it was quite shameful that there were no dissenting opinions presented at this forum. How are we to reach the truth of things, where corrections need to be made, if only one side is discussed? This is not so much a forum as it is a platform for one’s personal views.

    If, however, nothing was thrown and officers who were simply having a difficult time dispersing a large number of people, then the possible racially-motivated implications are completely worth investigating. How about we all get the facts straight before we jump to conclusions. Any college student with half a brain understands that all evidence need be considered before a conclusion can be reached. And lastly, the video at the top of this article is a joke. I mean, i feel for anyone who suffered unnecessarily at the hands of LAPD, but come on! The dramatic music? The intentional cuts? That is certainly not something that belongs on what is supposed to be an unbiased source of news (ie journalism).

    • student
      student says:

      As soon as I saw the objects being thrown at the responding cops and specially when I began to hear the fowl language coming out of the student’s mouth I headed as far out as I could! Do you want to know what I felt?…I felt embarrassed as a USC-colored-honors student. Lucky students who did this and turned around to play victim before everyone else knew what caused the back-up call. Thanks for ruining my night!

  17. Peter
    Peter says:

    The cops came and arrested my son because he broke the law, wah, wah, wah….help us poor folk fight the man! Oh buy the way, pay our way to your school ’cause we can’t.

  18. Haole
    Haole says:

    This entire situation is ridiculous. Shouldn’t you isolate the important variables – such as THROWING STUFF AT THE COPS – before you claim that two parties were treated differently by the LAPD? Nobody at the “white” party was arrested because those people complied and started shutting down.

    Meanwhile, across the street, there are no signs of things winding down, and people start throwing at the police. Naturally, boneheads like Nate decide this would be a great chance to be a martyr and get themselves arrested. How else would he get the chance to make dramatic speeches to similarly deluded students?

    Meanwhile the real adults just nod their heads and pretend to listen. The only consequences of all this hoopla are inflated egos of these self-declared “student leaders” who are bravely and selflessly fighting for civil rights… by drunkenly picking fights with the cops at 2 in the morning. Surely this is the dream that MLK was talking about.

    The only good thing I can say is that at least nobody got shot at this party – can’t say that for last semester’s.

  19. Dan
    Dan says:

    Who is this Hip Hop Nate,” I gotta be me guy”? What an utter and total clown. He is an embarrassment to all of Troy.

    Toss him out, Nikias.

  20. Bill
    Bill says:

    You know what? When the cops arrive it’s time to go leave; who are these kids to get into a fight with the police and then call foul? If I were arrested in this circumstance, my parents would take me out the back door and then to the woodshed. Instead, these parents are trying to make a case that it is okay to assault/defy the police.

    Furthermore, for Dean Jackson to call for the dismissal of all charges is a joke–who is he to adjudicate this police matter? He’s another diversification trying to make excuses for very bad behavior. Glad he’s going.

    These students are a disgrace to USC. It is no coincidence that the academic ratings of USC have fallen since Nikias initiated his Diversity at any Cost Plan. We are letting into the university students who simply would not qualify under normal procedures and we are paying the price for their shenanigans: see the October shooting at Tutor Hall, another party by the same crowd, I presume, since it was the black student union that organized the party and invited all their friends.

    Grow up, kids. It’s a tough world out there and you are making it tougher by the minute on yourselves. It’s time to realize that you have an obligation to yes, society, to contribute in a meaningful way–this ain’t it.

    • Lol
      Lol says:

      One of the Black students that was arrested was a trustee scholar and I attended the party and I’m a presidential scholar so we could’ve gotten into many other places and we did. & Black students only make up about 2-4% of the student body. I don’t know if YOU know basic math or statistics but our small numbers can’t impact the school’s academic ratings in any significant way. It may be you students who are here simply off legacy and not your hard work. You’re a joke. Lol

    • Lol
      Lol says:

      Oh wait, it sounds like you’re not even a student. You mad your parents’ connections couldn’t get you a decent job after partying all 4 years of undergrad? & Now that you’re facing the real world you realize its tough for the very 1st time and you sound bitter. We obviously know its tough, look at what we have to deal with on a daily basis, LAPD when partying and insecure jerks like you all the time.

    • Neuroscience Senior
      Neuroscience Senior says:

      Bill, I just want to say that looking at the students who were arrested, one student in particular (because I know of her through friends) has a 3.96 GPA. She will probably graduate Summa Cum Laude. So yeah, she definitely was a student who was admitted and “does not qualify under normal procedures”

      Your jump to conclusions and subjective assumptions without looking at the evidence & context in question objectively reflects very poor reasoning and analytical skills. It seems that you canvassed a stereotype image of all the students arrested and affected with your prototype of what a “minority university student” is without offering one bit of evidence, perhaps suggesting a biased nature against certain kinds of students–which is pretty sad if you are a fellow Trojan. I thought Trojans were smarter and could look at situations with an open eye.

      You say the students “assaulted” the police…”according to the police”. Of course they would say that because they’re a biased source themselves. If you look at the youtube video and pictures, perhaps you will get a better sense. And if you note, I haven’t made any accusations against the LAPD yet because this is still ongoing and I’m not throwing any stereotypes against either the LAPD or the “kids” in questions.

    • Ryan
      Ryan says:

      I don’t know how you think the application and acceptance process works for Black and other minority students, but it seems apparent that you think we don’t deserve to be here. I can guarantee you that we deserve to be here. When I applied to USC, I was ranked #1 in my high school class of 600 students. My current roommate attended the same high school and was also ranked #1. We were tied. I’m Black and he’s Mexican. That’s just one example.

      There is no shortage of students of color who excelled in the classroom, in their communities, in the arts, and in athletics; all of these achievements are factored into the acceptance equation. When you say that “We are letting into the university students who simply would not qualify under normal procedures”, you try to take away from those achievements that we worked so hard to earn.

      I just want to ask you to take a step back and consider the reality that we’re here because of much more than just our skin color.

      Oh, and as far as academic ratings of USC falling due to the “Diversity at an Cost Plan”, I’m about to graduate with a 3.83. Sorry I couldn’t live up to USC’s high academic standards.

    • Just Sayin
      Just Sayin says:

      Dearest Bill,

      Being that you are a passionate racist or, at minimum, feel obliged to make passionate and racist comments in public forums, you have nothing to fear! Luckily, your parents will never have to take you out the back door or to the woodshed because you will never be arrested in this circumstance.

      It is pretty evident that you are safe from being arrested under the same circumstances as these students since you are self-professedly unwilling to hang out with them. But, with the luxury of not having to worry about being arrested under these circumstances comes the forfeiture of your ability to spit Jim Crow garbage about it since you do not and cannot know anything valuable about which you speak.

      By the way, I am not one of these “diversifications” you vilify. I am a white guy who received nary a cent of scholarship money and I’m headed to law school in the fall so don’t waste your energy responding to me with anything about entitlement or my having gotten in here for being black.

      Just sayin.

  21. North University Park
    North University Park says:

    I also gotta call BS on the highly produced video with dramatic music posted to this article. Do you people at the DT consider this video news-worthy? Really?

    • WTF
      WTF says:

      You are hopelessly unaware of the world, “North University Park.” Go on NBC, CBS, ABC Eyewitness news, turn on NPR, and open LA Weekly. They all felt this was newsworthy and they aren’t even OUR CAMPUS NEWSPAPER. YOU KNOW, THE ONE THAT COVERS ALL CAMPUS EVENTS.

      • North University Park
        North University Park says:

        @ WTF

        You must be some sort of an idiot. Watch the video at the top of this article and explain how it is newsworthy. Be sure and wear your Dre headphone so you hear everything.


        Real men don’t cry about having their rectum searched.

        • Danielle
          Danielle says:

          The video evokes emotion because the night was a very emotional and traumatic event for students who were present. Definitely newsworthy because it is the only way people who were NOT there could feel the emotion of the people who were.

          • North University Park
            North University Park says:

            @ Dopey Dan,

            So if it’s emotional, it’s newsworthy? Brilliant! No really, you changed my mind. Everything now makes sense to me.


          • Alum
            Alum says:

            Make sure you are drunk before you watch the video too, that way you get a real “feel” of the emotion those people were feeling

  22. North University Park
    North University Park says:

    Some of the best acting since Halley Berry in “Monster’s Ball”.

  23. 12 AM - Go to Bed!
    12 AM - Go to Bed! says:

    At 2 am everyone needs to go home and go to bed!

    “Nothing good happens after mid night” – Plato

    Only the Beastie Boys believe you should fight for your right to party. MLK, Cesar Chavez and Rosa Parks did there Freedom Fighting during the day and sober.

    At 2 am it is time to brush your teeth, put on your jammies, and get some rest. If you are still awake, crack a book in a dimly light room.

    Here is some algebra for you:

    After midnight + Alcohol + energy drinks+ being overtired = Trouble

    • Neuroscience Senior
      Neuroscience Senior says:

      I fail to see your reasoning. What people do at whatever time of the day shouldn’t be an issue. At 2AM I could be partying, studying, reading, or whatever.

      Oh and just to counter your Plato quote, I quote this regarding this whole affair:

      χαλεπὰ τὰ καλά

      “Nothing beautiful attained without struggle.”
      -Plato, Republic 4, 435c.


  24. CityEye
    CityEye says:

    How can this forum be of any value when there were so many other students both international and USC students taking an opposing view who wanted to speak out but were afraid because of the students who were all blaming LAPD? It seems ONE voice was heard at this forum. Does anyone believe these students aren’t racist themvselves? Read the posts from prior articles and other students are voicing their opinion slamming these students who had the party. With all the shootings in the area students have been afraid to walk around the perimeters and when the asian students were killed more security was asked for. When you read posts from other media outlets you can clearly see many others blame these students. Were the students at the party really innocent of no wrong doing. Many don’t believe that is true, not even some who attended the parties.

  25. Eric Walker
    Eric Walker says:

    In response to Unsure and anyone who shares his/her sentiments, I only hope that you are unaware that you are part of the problem. Perhaps you didn’t mean it this way, but essentially what you just said was “you know if those black students would just act more white then we might listen to them more.”

    You criticized Nate’s backwards hat like it somehow plays a role in his rhetoric, it doesn’t. You criticize Riki’s use of a double negative as if it comes off as unclear, but the fact that you felt the need to point out why it’s improper shows that you DO know what she meant. It’s possible that, by some chance, you’ve lived your life in such a way that you haven’t been around enough people from inner-city areas where that style of dress and use of language is the norm.

    Point is, the basis on which you criticized and dismissed what these individuals might have to say is probably the same basis on which organizations like the LAPD decide who is a criminal and who isn’t. “Do they wear baggy clothes? Speak in ebonics? Listen to that blasted rap music?” It completely disregards the fact that there are entire communities where the young people dress and talk the same way – most of them aren’t criminals, but most of them ARE black. So all your judgment does is reinforce the same principles that have been guiding these institutions to profile and harass black youths at disproportionate rates.

    Just because someone displays the characteristics of the member of an OTHER group, that doesn’t make their point any less powerful, their rights any less legitimate, or themselves any less of a person. I think this is PART of how we profile and judge others before take the time to listen and think about what they might have to say. The assimilated way isn’t necessarily the right way, I only hope that you will grow to be more accepting and understanding of diverse cultures, especially since we are a top 25 university WORLDWIDE.

    • Unsure
      Unsure says:

      I think displaying the characteristics of another group are one thing (i.e. dressing a certain way, speaking a certain way, etc.), but in a public forum where you have the attention of people who have agreed to hear you out, professional attire is, if not completely necessary, at least a good idea and something any professional-minded person should do. This wasn’t someone walking down the street, this was obviously a particular circumstance. Casual speech is fine in casual settings, but in forums where one is trying to be taken seriously, it does undermine credibility. There is a time to use the language skills taught in nearly every school–especially when one clearly recognizes these skills enough to have entered a top 25 university. It doesn’t matter the race or socioeconomic background, there is professionalism and unprofessionalism, and I guarantee most of the adults in that room considered us more childlike because of the latter.

      By the way, I did not “dismiss what these individuals might have to say”–the whole basis of my comment was to say that they had something valuable to say that potentially got lost in the fluff. The fact that I grew up in the inner city let me understand their points, while identifying where adults would understandably check out. Case in point: “U n i R not havin dis convo like diz.” Why not?

  26. Unsure
    Unsure says:

    I’m glad my fellow students are coming together to protest the social injustice done to them. However, I’m unsure about the demeanor of some of the students at this forum. For instance, I’m sure Mr. Howard’s words would have been much more moving and mature if he got rid of the juvenile backwards hat and dressed in a way appropriate for addressing LAPD, DPS, and university officials in an organized forum–regardless of the circumstances. What’s more, even in an above quote from Ms. Pierce, she evidently articulated the phrase “no one said nothing.” …Meaning someone said something…right…?

    Come on, guys. We are a top 25 university worldwide. I would not expect students in a prestigious university like USC to be represented as anything other than professional young people trying to articulate a meaningful point. But when I see things like this, I can’t help but think it just hurts our cause. It makes us look like children pleading to responsible adults, rather than equal, young adults making a valid point to older adults.

    Lose the fluff, we’ll be taken a lot more seriously.
    Keep the USChange movement running

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