Protesters shout top cop Kelly off stage at Brown - News, Weather and Classifieds for Southern New England

Protesters shout top cop Kelly off stage at Brown

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© Courtesy WPRO © Courtesy WPRO
© Eital Schattner-Elmaleh © Eital Schattner-Elmaleh
PROVIDENCE -

New York City Police Commissioner Ray Kelly was shouted down by protesters during a talk at Brown University, and his planned lecture called "Proactive Policing in America's Biggest City" was canceled.

Dozens of students and citizens who were at the protest say they interrupted the forum because they were furious over Kelly's promotion of the "stop-and-frisk" policy in the city, which some claim leads to cases of racial profiling every day.

And the constant shouts and taunts launched towards Kelly as he stood at the podium were certainly not the way Brown University's Taubman Center for Public Policy expected the New York City Police Commissioner's lecture to go.

In a clip of video provided to NBC 10 by WPRO radio, protesters can be heard screaming, racism is not debatable, stop racial profiling, while Commissioner Kelly was trying to speak.

Ultimately, Kelly's appearance only lasted about 25 minutes.

Brown junior Connor McGuigan said, "Once the lecture started, it became clear that room was almost 50 percent full with people who planned to protest and stop the lecture."

Despite the university's best efforts to keep the lecture going, Brown University officials eventually had to end the speech, and clear the room to calm the situation down.

"The woman from the Taubman Center, who invited Kelly to speak, said a bunch of times as protests went on, ‘Alright guys, can everyone calm down? Let Mr. Kelly speak and then we can have a discussion, a Q and A afterwards.' They tried that for about 25 minutes, and didn't work out, people continued to protest. Over time the protest got more and more loud and frequent, and at a certain point, at about 4:30 p.m., Ray Kelly had not said pretty much more than two sentences at a time, it was announced that they were clearing the auditorium. Ray Kelly was escorted out with Providence Police and I guess members of his own secret service, and everyone was asked to leave," said McGuigan.

"They were chanting, stop police brutality and they had signs saying similar things, he said.

About 100 students also protested outside the lecture hall as well. "They were screaming for about an hour, and we heard them while we were in class," said Brown University student Eital Schattner-Elmaleh.

Brown University President Christina Paxson told NBC 10 she was not at all impressed with the Tuesday evening protest.

Paxson said, "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."

She continued, "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 dialog and the free exchange of views."

But some students think the protest did accomplish one thing in regards to Commissioner Kelly's controversial "stop-and-frisk" policy.

"The fact that Brown, and the protesters message, is now in national news headlines, I think there's something to be said for that," McGuigan said.

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