Updated: 10/24/2018, 8:59 a.m. ET: The internet has identified the library desk clerk who called the Catholic University campus police as Brittany McNurlin, a law student who also works with the public defender’s office.
McNurlin enjoys hobbies such as dialing 911, cosplaying as a bouncer and insisting she is not a racist. Her future goals include having anyone arrested who speaks to her in “that tone.”
The Root cannot confirm if some of her best friends are black.
Earlier: This story is ridiculous.
This story is so ridiculous it will not discuss library colonization, the troubling trend of people planning book heists by conning their way into school facilities under the pretense of studying. The offending party in this tale does not require the requisite nickname. She shall not be called Laura the Librarian or Becky the Book Bouncer. We shall call ber Brittany McNurlin (or maybe “Brittni” with a heart over the i), because that is her name.
However, this story begs one question:
What’s the purpose of police?
Is their purpose to protect and serve? Or are cops tools that can be weaponized at the behest of our white brothers and sisters who believe the world exists only to serve their desires, and therefore, law enforcement is little more than a Caucasian customer complaint hotline?
This story begins on Oct. 10 when Juán-Pabló Gonźalez, a black student at the Catholic University of America, decided he wanted to study at the university’s law library. Gonźalez had been correctly informed that as a Master of Library and Information Sciences student, he had access to the law library. He had studied in the facility on numerous occasions before and had no trouble in the past.
Although he was supposed to swipe his student identification card to gain entry, Gonźalez told The Root his ID never worked at the building.
“I had just been ringing the buzzer, waiting for them to buzz me in and then showing them my ID to prove I was a library information science student,” Gonźalez said. “And I was able to get in without any issues.”
But on this day, Gonźalez noticed the door was propped open when he arrived. Per his usual routine, Gonzalez showed his ID and announced to McNurlin he would be studying in the law library.
“She was pretty rude,” Gonźalez recounted. “She said: ‘The law library is for law library students.’ So I told her that I realized that, but that we’d been given permission to use the library.”
When Gonźalez told her that he had spoken to the librarian at the facility, but couldn’t recall the name, McNurlin informed him he couldn’t come in; neither would she offer a name to jog his memory.
“I tried to explain to her that, because we have a law librarian program, we had access to the facility,” Gonźalez said.
After a brief back and forth, the woman allowed Gonźalez o go study and told him she would leave a note saying she had benevolently granted a black man access to the library without his freedom papers.
“Because the entire transaction was so negative, I went back and said, ‘Can I have your supervisor’s information?’ I didn’t say anything else,” Gonźalez said, to which she refused. “I said: ‘I’m asking for the information of the managing librarian of this facility and you’re refusing? On what basis? Just because you don’t like the way I’m asking?’”
After McNurlin refused Gonźalez second request, she finally “snatched” a business card from the desk with the librarian’s information.
“I asked some more questions about why she took so long to give me the information ... She said I was being argumentative and that she didn’t like my tone,” Gonźalez said, to which he replied: “I didn’t ask for your personal opinion. I just asked for information about this facility so that I can use it.”
So McNurlin called the police.
When she informed Gonźalez she was alerting the authorities, he asked her: “On what basis? Because you don’t like the questions I’m asking?”
From there, Gonźalez began recording the incident. The six-minute video shows that McNurlin does not appear to be in any imminent danger and Gonźalez does not raise his voice above a calm half-whisper. When the clip begins, McNurlin is on the phone telling the Catholic University Department of Public Safety about “an argumentative student,” which I didn’t even know was a legally punishable offense.
That must make me a career criminal, then.
When Gonźalez specifically asked McNurlin why their back-and-forth warranted a police call, she replied: “I’ve answered your questions. You didn’t appreciate my answers ...” She admits she has done this at least one other time in a situation “very similar to this.”
Gonźalez offered to let the whole thing go if McNurlin called off the cops, asking: “May I go into the library and you cancel your call to the police?”
McNurlin wasn’t having it.
The most revealing part of the video was when the when the Catholic University police officers arrived. One would expect McNurlin to concoct a harrowing story about how she felt threatened and how Gonźalez burst into the library and demanded that he stay.
Nah, bruh. She told them exactly what happened.
Summoning all of the aggrieved-white victimization her voice could muster, McNurlin calmly explained, with a straight face no less, that she called the police because Gonzalez questioned her, made statements about the color of his skin, was “becoming argumentative,” and she “did not appreciate it.”
That was it. That was her entire explanation of why she called the police.
Gonźalez reports that at least seven officers arrived before he was forced to leave. He explained to The Root that he filed a complaint against Mcnurlin, which the school said only warranted “additional training.”
Gonźalez also met with human resource officials from Catholic University who he says dismissed his story until he showed them video evidence.
If you think Gonźalez was not in any imminent danger, you should be reminded of Sam Dubose, who was shot and killed by University of Cincinnati Police officer Ray Tensing in 2015.
Or maybe you’ve heard of Jason Washington, the Navy vet who was shot nine times by Portland State University officers James Dewey and Shawn McKenzie way back in 2018.
Although they might look harmless, Catholic University describes its police force this way:
Campus special police officers are appointed by the chief of police of the Metropolitan Police Department under the provisions of the D.C. Official Code to protect the campus property of an academic institution of higher education... Campus special police officers have full police authority, including arrest power, on the premises they are assigned to protect or outside of the premises in fresh pursuit for offenses committed on the premises ...
Persons arrested by campus special police officers are transported to a facility of the Metropolitan Police Department for processing.
Gonźalez says he has encountered previous incidents of racism as a student at Catholic, including notes with the n-word being slipped under his dormitory room door and being questioned by campus police after someone reportedly called the cops on “two suspicious black males” standing outside their dorm.
“I’m not going to accept the racism that’s on this campus. I’m not going to be quiet, and I’m going to challenge it,” he said.
Watch the entire incident below: