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Journalist Trespasses at Yale Law, Is Arrested, Blames Police for “Extremely Violent” Behavior
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Claudia Trevisan has trouble taking no for an answer. The Brazilian journalist showed up at Yale Campus where the president of Brazil’s supreme Court, Joaquim Barbosa, was featured in a seminar. Though she spoke with him earlier in the day, and he declined an interview, and though she had been told by Yale law school’s communications director that the event was closed to the media, she showed up anyway, hoping to get an interview with him as he walked on the street leaving the event.


The trouble started when she entered the auditorium where he was speaking and asked for information. When questioned, she lied and said she was meeting a friend there. She did not admit she was a journalist. Nevertheless, the police officer said he knew who she was and told her that she had been repeatedly warned she had no permission to come to the event. She was subsequently arrested, handcuffed, and held for a few hours.

She claims that the university police were “extremely violent and disproportionate” in their behavior to what she had done. However, this is a misuse of the term, “extreme violence,” since no violence was done to her, other than the handcuffs, which are typical of arrests.

“It’s not that I broke in or that I entered without saying what I’m looking for,” she said, as reported by the Guardian. “It was totally disproportionate. I was already going out of the building … I was handcuffed, treated like a criminal, it was totally shocking. For me it was hard to understand and totally unnecessary. It’s violence against a journalist trying to do her work.”

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Yale issued a statement that explained their actions:

“Before she came to the Yale campus on September 26 to attempt to interview Justice Barbosa, Ms Cláudia Trevisan was told that the Global Constitutionalism Seminar attended by Justice Barbosa was a private event closed to the public and the media, and that she was not permitted on Yale property,” the statement said.

“She came onto Yale property, entered the law school without permission, and proceeded to enter another building where the attendees of the seminar were meeting. When asked why she was in the building, she stated that she was looking for a friend she was supposed to meet. She was arrested for trespassing. The police followed normal procedures and Ms Trevisan was not mistreated in any way.

“Although the arrest for trespass was justified, the university does not plan to pursue the charge with the local prosecutor. The law school and Yale University accommodate hundreds of journalists in the course of a year at public campus events and for interviews with members of the Yale community and visitors. As with all journalists, Ms Trevisan is welcome to attend any public event at Yale and speak with anyone who wishes to grant her an interview.”

Trevisan nevertheless said “I was in China for five years and never in China did something like this happen to me.” One has to wonder though, if she herself did the same behavior in China.



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