NACOGDOCHES, Texas (KETK) – Officials with Stephen F. Austin University said at a press conference Wednesday morning that an incident involving a SWAT team and a false report about a Black student was serious, but “not racial.”
Christin Evans, a 17-year-old Black freshman student, said that she was the victim of a false report that sent SWAT officers coming into her bedroom in the middle of the night on September 14. It accused Evans of threatening to stab someone with a pair of scissors.
SFA President Scott Gordon said that:
“his heart goes out to the innocent young lady, the victim in this case, this case of false reporting. She has our full support. Her family has our full support… This was a terrible, terrible order for her and those who are involved in this case will be held accountable. “
The university’s Chief of Police John Fields said that incident “I can assure it’s not racial.” Fields also said that a bi-racial group of students was involved in the incident.
He proceeded to go through the events of that night by stating that a community assistant called campus police about a woman allegedly threatening others with scissors in the dorm. Officers were sent to Room 103, but were re-directed to Room 116.
Fields stated that a suitemate let SWAT officers in and directed them to Evans’ room. Only one officer had his weapon unholstered and that he never pointed his weapon. Another had a taser in his hand while a third officer was not holding anything.
“This was not like the wild, wild west like it has been reported.”Chief John Fields
The chief said that at no time did officers act unprofessionally and that the body camera footage would back up those findings.
When they realized Evans was in her bed, the threat was de-escalated. He also iterated that those responsible would be held accountable.
Gordon came back at the end of the press conference to express his outrage about the delay in reporting and how he found out about the incident from Evans’ mother.
He called for an independent, outside investigation to look into how problems are reported to the Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities.