Trial date set at Akom's hearing
SF State professor to be tried on April 14
February 25, 2006 1:55 PM
Unlike Africana Studies professor Antwi Akom’s past court appearances, there were no supporters at the Feb. 22 hearing. SF State graduate Ashley Moore sent an email urging friends, SF State students and faculty to attend the April 14 trial instead.
Members of the campaign supporting Akom, are selling tan-colored T-shirts with bold orange prints, “Danger: Educated Person of Color” on campus. The organization wants charges against the professor dropped, and encourages students to write to President Robert Corrigan and District Attorney Kamala Harris.
Moore, who moderates the campaign Web site, “Justice4Akom,” said the organization intends to run a series of workshops at SF State on racism and the criminalization of black males.
Retired San Francisco police officer, John Mindermann, volunteered to help the Department of Public Safety counter “Justice4Akom.”
SF State students and faculty say Antwi Akom’s arrest on Oct. 25, was racially motivated. He is charged for battering a police officer and resisting arrest.
“The allegation that he was a victim of racial profiling is bogus,” said Mindermann, president of the San Francisco Veterans Police Officers Association. Mindermann, who is an SF State graduate, said he is impressed by the Web site that Akom supporters launched on Feb. 6.
At last year’s hearing, Mindermann said he offered to help campus police advocate their position on the incident.
“They should get their message out there,” he said in a phone interview, adding that campus police should also launch a Web site. Calls to DPS were not returned.
Moore, 21, said the group is concerned about racial profiling in the country, and not just the incident.
“Once it’s over, we’re not over,” said Moore, who was Akom’s teaching assistant last fall. The group has the support of 31 organizations, including the San Francisco NAACP chapter and the ACLU in Northern California.
“I feel really fortunate that I have supporters,” said Akom at the Hall of Justice.
Dean of the College of Ethnic Studies, Kenneth Monteiro, said the incident should have been contained within the university.
“The situation should be out of the courts and back on campus,” he said.
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