16 Years Ago Today…. I was a student at Gallaudet. I was in the old Ely Center, passing through the stairwell between classes, when I witnessed Carl Dupree being attacked by DOSS, thrown down on the stairs, and killed in an act of rage by officers of a security department that were supposed to PROTECT Gallaudet’s students.
During the attack, his neck and chest compressed by the attackers, Carl frantically fingerspelled ‘I can’t breathe.’ ‘I can’t breathe.’ ‘I can’t breathe.’ Then, as abruptly as the attack began, the fingerspelling stopped.
Carl was dead.
Nothing was done in the 16 years that have since passed, to ensure that DOSS, later renamed DPS, would be able to read, and understand, a student’s desperate plea, even one signed in the the most basic of sign language, fingerspelling.
In the wake that followed, a trial took place, but deaf witnesses’ signed testimony was incorrectly interpreted and incorrectly transcribed, the defendants released, and a MURDER thus went unpunished.
It is to I.K. Jordan’s everlasting shame that he has, despite so many years as President of Gallaudet University, failed to rectify this situation. On the cusp of Jordan’s coming retirement, today we remember Carl Dupree. We remember his murder. We remember I.K. Jordan’s inaction. We remember DOSS. We remember the travesty of justice.
In perhaps the most glaring insult to the memory of Carl Dupree, the building in which he was murdered, was last month renamed in honor of I.K. Jordan.
Today, I issue this challenge to the Naming Committee that prematurely honored I.K. Jordan in such a dishonorable way.: Remember Carl Dupree, and rename the building where he was murdered, in his honor.
copyright @ 2006, Kenenth G. Samson