Account of my arrest by Yale University Press Secretary, Tom Conroy
Before she came to the Yale Campus on September 26 to attempt to interview Justice Barbosa, Ms. Trevisan was told that the Global Constitutionalism Seminar attended by Justice Barbosa was a private event closed to the public and the media, and that she was not permitted on Yale property. She came onto Yale property, entered the Law School without permission, and proceeded to enter another building where the attendees of the Seminar were meeting. When asked why she was in the building, she stated that she was looking for a friend she was supposed to meet. She was arrested for trespassing. The police followed normal procedures and Ms. Trevisan was not mistreated in any way. Although the arrest for trespass was justified, the University does not plan to pursue the charge with the local prosecutor. The Law School and Yale University accommodate hundreds of journalists in the course of a year at public campus events and for interviews with members of the Yale community and visitors. As with all journalists, Ms. Trevisan is welcome to attend any public event at Yale and speak with anyone who wishes to grant her an interview.
Some comments about it:
1) I did not enter the Law School without permission. I went to the security guard and asked where the seminar was being held. She told me she did not know and that I could look for it by myself on the corridor in front.
2) When I was asked by the policeman that arrested me why I was on the building, I told that I was looking for Mr. Barbosa. I did not identify myself as a journalist. And told the policeman I would wait for the minister outside the building. I was prevented to do so by the policeman, who kept my passport and told me I would be arrested.
3) If this is really “normal procedure”, it is shocking. And I am surprised by the affirmation I was not mistreated. Handcuffs are painful things to use. Being prevented to make a phone call for five hours is a terrible violence. Being treated as a criminal and put in a cell where you need to pee in front of policemen is a extreme humiliation.
4) In this whole process, nobody form Yale tried to hear my version of the facts. It surprises me, since it is a Law School. Where I studied Law, I learned the principle of ample defense and to be suspicious of evidence produced exclusively by the police.
5) As to the offer to go back to Yale, it will be at least uncomfortable. One of the policewoman took a picture of me and said: “we want your picture in case you ever try to come here again”.