She got in my face and proceeded to hit me in the chest area and push me back forcefully.”
The Stanford Daily reported that Stanford University student Melissa Hernandez allegedly assaulted Stanford College Republican (SCR) President John Rice-Cameron, the son of President Barack Obama’s national security advisor Susan Rice.
The alleged assault occurred at a tabling event on campus the SCR held in support of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh.
From The Stanford Daily:
According to Stanford Department of Public Safety spokesperson Bill Larson, Hernandez was placed under a private person arrest and issued a citation for battery in response to Rice-Cameron’s allegations that she “shoved him in the chest with her hand during a verbal disagreement.” Larson added that there was no obvious physical injury to either party involved, and that Rice-Cameron declined to be evaluated by paramedics. Moving forward, the District Attorney’s Office will review the case and decide upon any further action.
A leaked message from Rice-Cameron to 76 SCR members confirmed that he filed a police report and is pressing “full charges” against the woman.
When approached by The Daily at the scene, Rice-Cameron refused to comment on the issue. In a subsequent statement to The Daily, Rice-Cameron said, “She got in my face and proceeded to hit me in the chest area and push me back forcefully.”
“Nobody should be assaulted on campus, under any circumstances,” he added.
Hernandez says “she merely touched Rice-Cameron on the chest after he refused to stop video recording without her consent.” One witness described her as “angry [and] upset” and combative:
“She kept getting in his face, louder and louder — she walked straight towards him and invaded his personal space and definitely put her hands on him,” he said.
Another witness, a member of SCR who also declined to be named, described the contact as a push, but not a “hard push,” given that Rice-Cameron wasn’t shoved to the ground.
The incident took place during a “Change My Mind” SCR event. This idea “comes from conservative Steven Crowder, who created the concept to hold long-form conversations on controversial topics with people who disagreed with him.”
It looks like Rice-Cameron had a right to video Hernandez, but maybe not with audio:
Jim Wheaton, Senior Counsel at the First Amendment Project and a Stanford expert in media law, told The Daily that “video and photographic recording are permitted in public spaces, and generally one has the right to record with video or photo anything that can be seen with the unaided eye if you have a right to be in that space.”
White Plaza, where the SCR event was held, is considered a “free speech area” by the University. Tabling by student groups for informational purposes requires no prior approval as per Student Activities and Leadership (SAL) policy.
Under California law, audio recordings are subject to different standards of consent than video recordings. Namely, Wheaton cited a state law that requires consent from all persons recorded in a “confidential conversation,” which does not necessarily need to occur in a private setting to be classified as such.
Wheaton noted that exceptions exist — including public speech, public meetings or arguments loud enough that participants “cannot claim they thought it was confined to” those involved — but said that, based on his understanding of the circumstances, SCR would have the right to “record the video, but not the audio, without permission.”
“Recording a conversation — even [one] in a public space — is a violation of law in California,” he concluded.
These videos show student Annie Zheng removing SCR’s posters off of the table and running away.DONATE
Donations tax deductible
to the full extent allowed by law.