On the night of Oct. 15, a student yelled “Shut the fuck up” to three students removing posters depicting Israeli civilians kidnapped by Hamas, according to a video provided to The Daily.
What happened next is contested: Two of the people who were yelled at — a Palestinian student and another student who described herself as “visibly Arab” — alleged that they were shoved and further yelled at. The third student with them, who did not want to participate in an interview, was wearing a hijab. The alleged perpetrator disputes that there was a physical altercation.
The incident was reported in the Oct. 15 police blotter and is under investigation. It comes amid rising tensions on campus and took place eight days after Palestinian militant group Hamas led a surprise assault on Israel, leading the country to declare a state of war the same day.
Bill Larson, the Stanford University Department of Public Safety (SUDPS) spokesperson, wrote in a statement to The Daily that “The suspect shoved two victims. The alleged suspect is known.” Larson wrote that the investigation is active as SUDPS obtains statements from all parties involved.
The two alleged victims interviewed by The Daily requested anonymity due to fear of further harassment.
The Daily reached out to the alleged perpetrator directly. He did not respond to The Daily’s request and instead forwarded the request to another student. That student responded with a statement on behalf of the alleged perpetrator and explained that the suspect was unable to respond as he started a leave of absence to serve in the Israel Defense Forces (IDF).
At the time of the incident, the alleged victims said they were walking around campus and taking down posters because some of their own posters had also been taken down. They said they had been followed earlier while taking down posters, and believed they were being followed again.
The posters they took down depicted the faces and information of Israeli civilians kidnapped by Hamas, including their names and ages.
By the time the three alleged victims reached White Plaza, one of the people following them — later identified as the alleged perpetrator by interviewees and The Daily’s review of the video — started yelling at and shoving them, according to the alleged victims.
“In a very calm voice, I said, ‘Can you please take your hands off me?'” one of the alleged victims said. The suspect refused, so he said, “Take your fucking hands off of me, please.”
According to the alleged victim, the suspect then stopped.
The suspect contests these allegations. In a statement forwarded by another student on the condition of anonymity, the suspect initially wrote that he was “not aware of any incident or report until he saw [The Daily’s] email.” After a second email from The Daily clarifying if the suspect was unaware of the incident entirely, or unaware that the incident was reported, the suspect wrote, once more through another student, that he did see some students tearing down flyers that night.
“I was shocked but did not lose my composure,” the suspect wrote. “I simply asked them to stop destroying the posters. There was no altercation and I absolutely did NOT touch anyone. I have a witness who can verify that. This is a totally false and groundless accusation.”
The Daily requested to be connected to the witness but the intermediary responded that he could not provide information, and that the suspect is on a leave of absence to serve in the IDF.
One of the alleged victims recorded a few seconds of the incident in a video that The Daily reviewed. The recording depicts the suspect yelling “Shut the fuck up” to an alleged victim near The Claw fountain before the students walked away from each other. The suspect was initially identified by another student who saw the video.
The incident was reported to SUDPS that night and is under investigation.