Brown University on Tuesday canceled a public lecture by Raymond W. Kelly, the police commissioner of New York City, after vocal opposition from protesters at the event, The Providence Journal reported.
Mr. Kelly was expected to give a lecture titled “Proactive Policing in America’s Biggest City.” But a group of students and activists protested the actions of Mr. Kelly’s department, including its policy known as “stop-and-frisk,” which a federal court this year declared unconstitutional. In the face of the protests, university officials gave up on attempts to bring order to the auditorium where the event was taking place, stopping the lecture and clearing the venue.
The university said in a written statement that the decision to end the event “came after nearly 30 minutes of disruption by activist students and members of the local community.” The university said that “loud shouting, persistent interruption, and coordinated chants made it impossible for the lecture to take place.”
“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,” said Christina H. Paxson, Brown’s president, in the statement. “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 dialogue and the free exchange of views.”
Mr. Kelly declined to comment to the newspaper as he departed.