SJSU Launches Independent Review of Hate Crime Allegations

In the wake of high-profile hate crime allegations on campus, San Jose State University has enlisted a retired judge to conduct an independent review of what happened. LaDoris Cordell, San Jose’s independent police auditor, will oversee the investigation, which will look at how the university failed to prevent four white students from racially terrorizing a black freshman.

The investigation will seek to:

• Determine what happened, when it happened and who’s responsible;
• Find out how and when the school responded to the crime;
• Determine whether the school violated existing policies in the way it reacted to the incident.

Last month, the District Attorney’s office filed misdemeanor battery and hate crime charges against four white students, alleging they had clamped a bicycle lock around their black dorm-mate’s neck and barricaded him in a closet. Prosecutors say the suspects also scribbled the word “nigger” on the dorm suite white board and called the victim “Three-Fifths,” referring to the way the U.S. government once deemed slaves three-fifths a person.

The case sparked outrage, vaulting the story to national headlines. During a press conference about the incident late last month, students criticized the school for failing to protect the victim. They asked why college staff took so long to notice the abuse and why they officials didn’t follow up after directing the suspects to take down a Confederate flag they posted up on a dorm window.

SJSU suspended the four students immediately after the DA pressed charges. The NAACP called for prosecutors to bump up the charges to felonies and asked for a federal and state investigation, too.

Qayoumi said the school’s newly formed Commission on Diversity will meet this month to talk about how to prevent similar incidents going forward. And early next year, Qayoumi said, he will host a forum on racial intolerance.

In the meantime, Cordell and the law firm tasked with conducting the review will proceed with the audit. They’re expected to produce a report by Jan. 31. A task force will review those findings and issue a final report by the end of April.

Jennifer Wadsworth is the former news editor for San Jose Inside and Metro Silicon Valley. Follow her on Twitter at @jennwadsworth.


  1. Cordell, please give me a break.  Just a sugar coated pick to cover up the real issues and to save face.  Chuck did the same and was a huge failure.

  2. > …Judge Cordell’s “independence” was compromised when she wrote her op-ed for the Merc? and further compromised when appeared on TV and in radio interviews?

    Just astonishing.

    If anyone wants to see a racialist witch hunt up close, this it.

    So, what op-ed’s did Judge Cordell write regarding Tawana Brawley? The Duke Lacrosse players? George Zimmerman?

  3. Independent? Really? How can SJI publish this without acknowledging that Judge Cordell’s “independence” was compromised when she wrote her op-ed for the Merc? and further compromised when appeared on TV and in radio interviews?

    (also posted on the MW fb page in case SJI “loses” it)

  4. I don’t understand how Cordell has time this, given her exhausting and time consuming duties as police audited. I bet that job requires at least 2-3 hours a day, 3-4 times a week. That woman really knows how to work the system.

  5. What an absolute disgrace ! LaDoris Cordell is not “Independent” . she is one of Reeds Puppets . How is it possible that this Opportunist warranted a pay raise while all other city workers took a pay cut. Its decisions like this , that have made San Jose the laughing stock that it is

  6. I found it interesting that the IPA’s first contract stated that she needed the approval from the City Council when it came to taking on “Outside Employment” (i.e. working for SJSU).  However, her most recent contract was changed.  Now she only needs to check in with the City Attorney and consult with the Mayor.
    Took the rest of the council right out of it.  Nice.  (Suckers).

    NOTE-Wow she gets $13,000 a month from the City and she has time to work for the University too?  Crazyness.  And they want me to vote for a library tax.  Your killing me.  LOL.


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