Protesters holding signs decrying racism and the NYPD’s stop-and-frisk policy lined the entrance to the Rhode Island lecture hall, and once he took the stage it was clear he was not welcome.
“Racism is not for debate,” shouted one student. The moderator tried to step in, asking the students to make their comments part of the question-and-answer section of the debate. “We’re asking that you stop stopping and frisking people,” hollered another, to loud applause.
Kelly, who was there to deliver a lecture titled, “Proactive Policing in America’s Biggest City,” but left after it became clear the students weren’t interested in listening.
The university later issued a statement, according to WPRO:
“The actions that led to the closing of this afternoon’s lecture prevented any exchange of ideas and deprived the campus and the Providence community of an opportunity to hear and discuss important social issues. The conduct of disruptive members of the audience is indefensible and an affront both to civil democratic society and to the University’s core values of dialog and the free exchange of views.”