Relief? Dr. Jahi Issa says he can now start recovering his life and career
Delaware State Professor Prevails After Three Year Ordeal
The day after the iconic Civil Rights Activist, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was celebrated across the Nation, a misdemeanor charge for resisting arrest against Dr. Jahi Issa was finally dismissed.
In March 2012, Dr. Issa, a professor at Delaware State, joined a group of student protestors attempting to rally and proceed to the Board of Trustees meeting open to the public to voice their concern that the school no longer resembled an HBCU.
Dr. Issa and the student protestors were approached by uniformed and campus staff who demanded the group disperse. Dr. Issa was roughed up, fell, and had to be taken to the hospital. The university charged Dr. Issa with disorderly conduct, resisting arrest, offensively touching of a law enforcement officer and inciting a riot.
Dr. Issa’s protest that he and the students were exercising their First Amendment rights fell on deaf ears. Dr. Issa was fired from Delaware State on August 17, 2012 and faced possible jail time.
Now, after nearly three years of prosecution from the State of Delaware, Presiding Judge Charles Welch, dismissed all charges against Dr. Issa. It should be noted that the judge ruled for dismissal. At no time did Delaware State drop the charges which Dr. Issa described as “bogus.”
Dr. Issa’s defense attorney, Dr. Sam Guy says, “Delaware State President Dr. Harry Lee Williams and Chief Harry Downs, Jr., should be ashamed of themselves for using their power to oppress DSU students and faculty for exercising First Amendment rights near the MLK Student Center and Medgar Evers Hall. They need to go see ‘Selma’. When I attended DSU, it was a HBCU.”
Prior to the confrontation resulting in Dr. Issa’s arrest, he had written an on-line article addressing the inner threat that he said the “reactionary administration” posed in the Chronicle of Higher Education and the Black Agenda Report. There’s little doubt that this is when Dr. Issa went on the radar, he says.
The saga doesn’t end here. The state government organization that oversees all unions in the state, the Public Employment Relations Board (“PERB”), ruled that the union (AAUP) did not have to represent Dr. Issa in his attempt to be compensated for the dues he paid for four years.
PERB ruled that unions could be found guilty of non representation, but did not have to compensate anyone after being found guilty. The PERB has been allowed to take union dues and breach the union contract, Dr. Issa says. This suggests collusion between the PERB and the University, he says. Dr. Issa has every intention to sue for compensation and expose any underhanded dealings.
Follow up article soon.