Brockport students weigh in on school’s decision to let convicted cop killer speak
BROCKPORT, N.TY. (WHEC) — Some SUNY Brockport students are weighing in on the university’s decision to let a convicted cop killer speak virtually next week.
News10NBC went to Main Street in the Village of Brockport on Saturday and spoke to a handful of SUNY Brockport students, and even some parents. It was a mix of emotions, some were ok with it, some weren’t and some didn’t have an opinion.
"I’m ok with it, I just wish they didn’t move it online due to the controversy of the blue lives matter supporters in Brockport,” Davina Jenkins told News10NBC.
Jenkins is a junior at SUNY Brockport. She said she would have been ok with Jalil Muntaqim, also known as Anthony Bottom who was convicted of killing two New York City police officers, physically being on campus and speaking to students.
"The college in Brockport has decided that they want to give a voice to a two time convicted assassin,” NYS Senator Rob Ortt said during a ‘Back the Blue’ rally on Saturday.
During that rally in Brockport to support police officers. Community members, including state lawmakers, condemned the university’s event with Muntaqim.
"They are guilty of subverting the United States and our rule of law when they promote Mr. Bottom, I’m sorry,” Senator Ortt said.
"I feel like there should be different sides to a story heard,” Jenkins added.
Controversy quickly escalated over the event. Originally, SUNY Brockport was going to offer Muntaqim the "Promoting Excellence in Diversity Grant", which would have paid him to speak. The school rescinded the grant and made the event virtual only.
"I disagree with them taking away the grant, and that he shouldn’t be penalized for something that was committed so long ago,” Jenkins told News10NBC.
We spoke to several SUNY Brockport students and parents who didn’t want to go on camera, but what they said was a mix. Some were not ok with the entire event, and some said they didn’t have an opinion.
"I feel like they should have given students more information,” Jenkins said.
The event is next Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. and it is only being offered virtually.