Monday, December 2, 2013

* Something is Amiss in the See case

"I will kill you."

There is something missing from the narrative presented by journalists in the death of  Yale English professor Samuel See in a New Haven jail cell.

All accounts say that Mr. See shouted at the police after he was handcuffed "I will kill you. I will destroy you"

The accounts seem to explain this by saying "See became enraged" when he was arrested and handcuffed in his own home.

Well, let's look at that.

Mr. See was an ENGLISH professor. 

His field was studying WORDS and their impact.

Surely he knew that the word "kill" when directed toward the police would bring dire consequences and terrible publicity.  

Had he directed it toward his spouse against whom there was a restraining order, it would have been understandable as the irrationality of a domestic dispute: crise de coeur (crisis of the heart) as the French say.

But all news accounts report the police as saying it was directed against THEM not against the SPOUSE.

It is therefore vitally important to have more details than simply Mr. See "became enraged" when he was told he would be arrested in his own home for violating a restraining order.  

That might have prompted a "You will answer to my attorney for this" remark, but "I will kill you" is totally off the wall----especially for a scholar whose PhD was in the study of the use of words.

There is therefore a critical need  to interview the only non-police witness to the event, apparently a "sister" of one of the partners who called police over violation of the restraining order. 

If a deposition has already been obtained from her, then it is important that it be made public.

What needs to be established is:

  • relation of witness to Mr. See
  • sequence of events
  • length of events
  • escalation of anger
  • language used by all parties, especially law enforcement personnel
  • force used by all parties
  • source of the cut over Mr. See's eye

Mr. See's profession as a scholar of English cannot be trivialized here.  He knew the power of words and to whom he was directing them-----even if he was "enraged."

Something is missing and there is only one person who can provide that information.

Link to 12/4 Yale Daily News article

" See’s sister from out of state. "
This is excellent and crucially important reporting, unlike previous accounts which left the impression that the sister phoned the police from the scene of the dispute at See's Wooster Square home.
Thus there was no non-police witness to the event who can shed light on the content of the language and force used by all parties during the police visit to See's house and his arrest.

Accordingly, it is impossible to corroborate with a non-police witness the police statement "See became enraged" when he was told there was a restraining order against him and he would be arrested in his own house.
The only non-police witness then is the husband, who is not an emotionally disengaged party.
This makes challenging the police story impossible.
It is highly dubious that a professor of English would utter the words "I will kill you" to the police. His profession requires a subtle awareness of the power of words and an ability to analyze their potential consequences in a variety of situations. A professor of English might have said to the police"You will answer to my attorney for this" but it is unimaginable that he would have said to the police "I will kill you" .
He understandably might have said that to his spouse during the "domestic dispute" but unless he was professionally suicidal, he would NEVER have said that to the police.
Something is amiss here.
The toxicology report will probably be issued over Xmas vacation, making an effective campus response unlikely

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