Conservative student fears cover-up of false police report
A conservative student at Kent State University claims that her school is covering up for student cadets who she believes maliciously reported her to campus police.
As previously reported by Campus Reform, on April 27, Kent State student Leandra Westbrook was removed from class and searched by campus police. Westbrook recalls that shortly before the incident, she had a phone conversation with a friend during which she said that “it is a shame I cannot carry a gun on campus, considering I have my carry license.”
According to the police report, several Police Academy cadets overheard the conversation and reported it to an off-duty officer, claiming that a female student was “speaking about having a gun and getting into trouble if it was discovered.”
Although Westbrook understands that the officers were “just doing their jobs,” she maintains that the cadets who initially reported her did so in bad faith.
“There was no way to misinterpret what I said, or even to suggest I had a gun on me,” she told Campus Reform.
As a board member of her school’s Students for Life chapter, Westbrook says she’s well-known as an outspoken conservative on campus, and she believes the cadets who reported her likely knew her political reputation.
While Westbrook wants the administration to investigate the matter, she also alleges that school officials are covering up the identity of the cadets who reported her, saying that multiple inquiries to the university were redirected to the police department, which said none of the cadets names were taken, and no call log could be referenced because the cadets made their report verbally.
In response to inquiries from Campus Reform, school spokesman Eric Mansfield said the university is committed to providing a “secure learning environment” on campus, but did not deny, or even address, Westbrook’s allegations.
“Kent State University is committed to protecting life and property, maintaining the peace and ensuring a safe and secure learning environment for students, faculty, staff, and guests of the university,” he said.
“I can’t file a report for false reporting against them unless I know their names,” Westbrook told Campus Reform.
“This is a problem because these cadets are training to become police officers,” she explained. “Making false reports like this is not only damaging to my reputation but the cadets’ as well.”
Westbrook also alleges that a breach of procedure was made by the police officer who responded to the tip.
“The police officer didn't interview the cadets who initially reported me and no witness statements were taken,” she told Campus Reform, noting that this makes it impossible to “judge the credibility of this officer's report.”
“Since there were no witness statements, there's no indication about what the cadets heard or saw,” she pointed out. “Due to this, it makes it harder for me to prove what actually happened because it turns into a game of ‘he said, she said.’ You cannot compare stories when a witness statement was not taken.”
Despite her repeated attempts to ascertain the identity of the cadets who reported her, Westbrook says that university officials continue to give her “the run-around.”
“Moving forward, Kent State should do the right thing and release the name of the cadet who falsely reported me,” she said. “It is essential to my own safety that I find out who reported me to see if they had bad intentions with their false reporting.”
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