Editor’s note: This is a developing story; more information will be provided as the story updates.
On Sept. 14, University Police officers burst into the dorm of Christin Evans, a Black freshman cheerleader, with flashlights and guns drawn at 3 a.m. after her white roommates, along with a group of other students, filed a false report that said Evans was threatening to stab other students with scissors, according to a news report from KPRC 2 news in Houston.
The students who filed the report told a community assistant, who then called UPD.
UPD Chief of Police John Fields released a statement on Sept. 28, saying the University is investigating the incident, and that “the students responsible will be held accountable for their actions at every possible level.”
During a press conference in Sept. 28 in Houston, Civil Rights Attorney Randall Kallinen, who is representing Evans, said he believes the incident was racist, and it could have led to dangerous consequences.
“Their [Evans’ parents] daughter was sleeping and awoken at three o’clock in the morning by local police with flashlights shining out and their guns drawn,” Kallinen said during the press conference. “This could have been a Breonna Taylor circumstance.”
The incident is currently under investigation by the University, so details of the report currently have to remain confidential. It is unknown if the students responsible violated just the University Code of Conduct or if there is a criminal charge involved.
University President Dr. Scott Gordon released a statement saying, “I want to urge everyone to withhold judgement until the conclusion of our investigation process. I have directed staff to be thorough and keep me appraised throughout the investigation. Each perpetrator will be dealt with accordingly.”
Dean of Student Affairs Dr. Adam Peck has been responding to students on Twitter, urging students to wait until the investigation process is over before passing judgement on the University.
Peck said there are two different investigations going on, a police investigation and a University conduct investigation.
“The conduct process is just now beginning,” Peck said. “It began, in earnest, last week. There are quite a few people involved, so when I’ve said in the past that it’s complex, it just means that it’s going to take some time to talk to everybody involved. So, I can’t really tell you when that process will conclude, only that we’re moving as quickly as we can while still ensuring the fairness of the process.”
The conduct investigation starts with the person making allegations, Evans, and then it gathers witnesses and information before determining if individuals will be charged with conduct violation.
The process will then move on to administrative hearings between each person involved and a faculty member on an individual basis, in this case the Director of Student Rights and Responsibilities, Dennis Mosley. If no more information is needed after the hearings, a determination will be made.
Peck said the more people involved in an investigation, the more complex it becomes and therefore takes more time to complete, but most processes conclude in about a week.
Evans has since been moved from the dorm room where the incident occurred.