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About The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current | View Entire Issue (Jan. 26, 2001)
Symposium addresses issues surrounding racial profiling
■ Killing of minorities and abuse by
police officers among problems
brought up by speakers.
BY ALEXIS HNERSON
Brutality against blacks by authority
figures, especially the police and law
enforcement agencies, was the topic of
discussion at a symposium held Thursday
at the UNL College of Law.
Walter Rucker, UNL history and ethnic
studies professor, and Lela Shanks, former
civil right activist spoke at the John Rock
and Charlotte Ray Symposia on Racial
The topics at the symposium paral
leled issues facing the legislature.
LB593, introduced by Sen. Matt
Connealy of Decatur, would mandate that
every Nebraska policy department devel
op a policy against racial profiling.
Shanks began the symposium by
remembering her childhood.
“The first thing I remember being told
by my parents was to do everything I could
to never have contact with the police,” she
Shanks identified what she thought
was one of the most serious problems
with racial profiling - the killing of
unarmed minorities by the police.
Shanks said she felt this was possible
today because of the practices of the first
13 colonies of the United States.
Shanks said the first colonies had
slaves, which formed the basis for current
“It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to
know that it would not have been possible
for slavery without racial profiling,”
The symposium’s other speaker,
Rucker, spoke about the presence of racial
profiling, particularly in the abuse of
“Racial profiling, DWB (driving while
black/brown) offenses and police brutali
ty- these are the issues,” Rucker said.
Along with these issues, Rucker said
he saw an important stereotype that
formed after the slaves received their free
dom, the stereotype of a “brute.”
A brute, as Rucker described it, is a
black male who is prone to criminal
Rucker said this was “a very dangerous
stereotype” and continued by naming
many documented instances where
police had brutalized or killed unarmed
Kari Mangan, a UNL law student,
asked if there was some “inverse racial
profiling” in black communities.
Shanks said she thought a large num
ber, but not all, of blacks had moved
toward bettering interracial relations.
She said she thought it was time for
“white people of good will” to take steps.
"Nobody has ever done enough,”
7f doesn’t take a rocket
scientist to know that it
would not have been
possible for slavery without
former civil right activist
But Shanks did give a positive state
ment among the hard topics.
“I’m always hopeful for the future,”
she said, “despite our history.”
Students give Perlman food for thought
Students meeting with UNCs
top leader snacked on sprinkled
cookies and drank Pepsi products.
Their discussion, however, was a
bit less frivolous.
About 20 University of
attended an open forum with
Interim Chancellor Harvey
Perlman at the Nebraska Union
Georgian Suite Thursday night.
The discussion, sponsored by
UNL’s Independent Student
Association, addressed university
academic standards, the union’s
homeless population, limited
parking on campus and other stu
Andrea Wever, a 24-year-old
sophomore biological science
major and mother of two, asked
about child care.
Wever said finding child care
for night classes was difficult.
She said it was ironic that the
Campus Recreation Center pro
vided child care.
“If I want to work out, I can
drop my kids off, but I can’t if I
have a class,” Wever said.
Perlman said the university
considered designing child care
additions within campus parking
garages or at the Campus rec.
But the facilities were not
licensed for that purpose and
lacked outdoor play areas, so
Perlman said other options will
have to be explored.
Like Wever, most of the stu
dents at the forum were older than
most college students.
Some said they wanted uni
versity credit for their job experi
But Perlman said he wouldn’t
support such a policy.
Instead, Perlman said he sup
ported exempting students from
courses they had mastered.
“I guess I’m a traditionalist,”
Many older students have to
schedule classes on Saturdays to
avoid conflict with their jobs,
forum participants said.
Perlman also said he would
look into their concerns about
parking for classes during univer
sity football games.
“There’s no doubt in my mind
that academic courses have to
continue, even on football
Saturdays,” Perlman said.
Other students said the uni
versity should be more lenient in
admission standards and accept
But Perlman said lowering
standards would only decrease
the university's retention rate by
attracting unprepared students.
Moreover, he said Nebraska
high schools had “shaped up their
act” when the university tightened
its admission policy in the past
Some students said the home
less should be banned from the
union and could carry lice and
ringworm into the building.
But Perlman said the union
was an open, public building, and
he had never heard any cases of
those health problems there.
“We're not allowed to keep
‘There’s no doubt in
my mind that
have to continue,
even on football
UNL interim chancellor
(the homeless) out and would
have conscience problems if we
did,” Perlman said.
Jared Solomon, president of
UNL’s Independent Student
Association, said Perlman was
more candid than he expected.
“At the very least, he put a very
considerable effort in meeting us
in the middle,” Solomon said
And even Perlman said there
was a limit to what a chancellor
“All these issues come down to
Attorneys to argue
REINHARP from page 1
of the attacks, which caused him
to lose money.
The story, “Bones of con
tention: UNL alleged possession
of Indian remains would violate
federal law," was the first to
report allegations against
Reinhard said he couldn’t dis
cuss the specifics of the case
Thom Cope, Reinhard’s attor
ney, was unavailable for com
The suit against the regents is
Reinhard’s third against mem
bers of the university.
Reinhard first sued Stan
Parks, a former UNL graduate
student who talked to local news
papers and accused Reinhard of
changing inventory records and
In the suit against Parks,
Reinhard listed several com
ments made by Parks that includ
ed statements Reinhard said
were false, including:
■ Reinhard ordered invento
ry records of American Indian
remains be changed so no one
would know about the existence
of soft tissue items.
■ Reinhard placed a hat on a
child’s skull and snapped the jaw
open and shut as if the skull were
■ Reinhard took remnants of
small shoes and walked and
danced them around the table.
Reinhard settled the case out
of court with Parks in 1999.
The second suit, filed last
spring, was against Robert
Hitchcock, associate professor of
anthropology. The case is still
NU’s motion is scheduled to
be heard by Lancaster County
District Judge Karen Flowers.
CHJtVg from page 1
because of their ignorance.
Chavez said extra red tape
and hefty taxes translated into
burdens on employees as well as
Lawmakers can serve both
workers and owners by easing
laws and tapering taxes, she
said. Both plans create a health
ier economy for everyone
involved, she said.
But Chavez warned nothing
could happen until the hostile
atmosphere in Washington D.C.,
If the political climate
remained bitter, she said law
makers were doomed to parti
san bickering, which produces
“We need to get beyond
demonizing people," she said.
Committee considers giving
counseled couples a break
LB236, introduced by Sen.
Jon Bruning of Omaha, would
give couples who received pre
marital counseling a discount
on their marriage licenses.
Members of the Judiciary
Committee considered the pro
The bill would raise the cost
of a license from $15 to $25, but
couples who take the counsel
ing classes would receive a $20
Sen. Ernie Chambers of
Omaha opposed the measure
because he said it was intrusive.
Legislature to take a bite
out of election crime
The Government Affairs
Committee heard testimony
about a bill Thursday that would
force Nebraskans to bring their
drivers' licenses to the polls.
The purpose of the bill is to
stop election fraud where peo
ple vote under the guise of
LB395, introduced by Sen.
Adrian Smith of Gering, would
mandate voters to show a dri
vers license, passport, certified
birth certificate or any other
The bill didn’t move out of
Committee senators consider
streamlining recall elections
Senators on the
Government Committee con
sidered a proposal Thursday to
expedite the recall election
Currently, disgruntled citi
zens can pass around a petition
requesting the removal of a city
If the petition gains enough
muster, the state holds a recall
election. And, if necessary, it
holds an election to select
another official. In the interim, a
temporary officer fills the posi
If LB428, the bill the com
mittee considered, passes, only
one election would be held
addressing both the recall and
new election. The bill would
remove the necessity to hire an
Compiled by George Green
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Accident victim dies after
crashing van into post
The driver of a van that
crashed into a concrete post died
Thomas Bermaster, 76, ran
into the post in front of D/Rocks
Music & Loan at 21st and O streets
around 2:45 a.m., Officer
Katherine Finnell said.
Bermaster suffered severe
internal injuries, which caused his
death, Finnell said.
She said police didn’t know
why Bermaster crashed his van.
The man was transported to
BryanLGH West, where he was
Woman wakes to find intruder
in her home
A 22-year-old female awoke to
find an unknown person standing
right outside her bedroom door.
Finnell said the female called
the Lincoln Police Department
around 2*39 am. to report that she
had been asleep in her home near
N. 63rd SL when she awoke to find
someone standing near her bed
room wearing a ski mask and dark
The woman went up to the
man, and he hit her several times
before leaving, Finnell said.
Finnell said the man may have
entered the home by using a
garage door opener that was left in
an unlocked car.
The man was described as a
white male in his 20s, 5-foot-8
inches tall and about 180 pounds,
Law & Order
Police arrest woman for
An arrest was made after a 41
year-old female tried to speak to
her ex-boyfriend early Thursday.
Two men who lived in apart
ment D4 at 1317 L St., called
Lincoln police around 1:45 a.m.,
reporting that Denise Vasa had
come to the apartment to talk to
her ex-boyfriend, who lived there.
Vasa pounded on the door,
then broke the glass encasing a
fire extinguisher and also broke a
When nobody answered the
door, Vasa placed her bra next to
the door and set it on fiie,Finnell
Vasa was arrested for disturb
ing the peace, first degree arson
Police stop results in airest
on eight marges
A simple stop made by
Lincoln Police led to one person
arrested on eight different
Lincoln police stopped Jamie
Allen, 32, for false license plates
and not signaling a turn, Finnell
After a search of the car, offi
cers found a bag with 12.9 grams
of methamphetamine, a scale and
other drug paraphernalia, Firmed
Police also found $346 and a
loaded .38-caliber semi-automat
ic handgun in the car.
Aden was arrested for driving
with a suspended dcense, failure
to signal, no proof of insurance
and fictitious license plates.
Allen received two felony
charges: possession of a con
troded substance and possession
with the intent to deliver; and two
misdemeanor charges: carrying a
concealed weapon and posses
sion of drug paraphernalia.
Compiled by Jill Conner
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