People of the Eye

Carl DuPree Died 16 Years Ago Today
9 November, 2006, 1:05 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Remember Carl DuPree.

Note: If any of the details of my narrative are incorrect, please leave a comment. I want to get the most accurate picture of what happened 16 years ago. Thanks!
I implore you, please do not forget Carl DuPree, or how he died. Do not forget the death of this ‘strong deaf’ activist, and hear his story once more. Carl DuPree fought for students’ rights when students themselves were afraid to fight. He started his own student protest against the department of English, complaining that their signing was terrible, and arguing that students deserved better. Carl DuPree fought for us. He loved us, he loved being Deaf, and he loved life.

This father of four was taking a remedial English course under Carl Schroeder. Schroeder, according to Joshua DuPree (Carl’s son), lost Carl’s final paper. They had a “discussion” about the lost paper, with no hope of a resolution. Schroeder stuck to his ground. That day, Schroeder was not there, but DuPree talked with another teacher, possibly the chair of the department (Nancy Kensicki). That person told DuPree he was getting an F anyway. Dupree angrily stormed out, and the person called DOSS (known as DPS today), to escort DuPree off campus. He was already well known to the officers, due to his fight for better ASL standards for teachers.

DOSS came to the scene (including one or two who still work today!) even though DuPree had already left on his own. They attempted to talk to him, using gestures. DuPree told them, “I’m going to meet my family,” and when they didn’t understand him, just waved them off and kept walking. His wife and two of his four children were waiting for him in the Ely Center, possibly in Rathskeller or the Commuter Lounge, it’s not known to me which one.

DPS continued to tell him to get off campus, and when he continued to ignore them, they subdued him on the Ely center stairway. Students gathered, looking on as DuPree struggled, trying to tell the officers that he couldn’t breathe. They had him with his hands behind his back, and his neck against an edge of the stairs. Students tried to tell DOSS to back off, but they were intent in their goal to subdue DuPree. After a few minutes, he had stopped struggling. The officers broke a bone in his neck, causing internal bleeding. He choked to death on his own blood.

Gallaudet lied to the press and to his grieving, stunned widow. For over three days, they stuck to the story that he had a heart attack. When the coroner’s report came in, they finally admitted the real cause of his death. The night of DuPree’s death, his widow was left alone with four small children. The administration did not even care about them. The next morning, a family friend came to the door and found her alone with the four children. The administration did not even send anyone to DuPree’s home. Nobody was there to support his widow, especially with four small children. Nobody. The only person who helped? The family friend, who stayed all day, waiting for DuPree’s extended family to fly in. Gallaudet murdered Carl DuPree, and did not even have the dignity or respect to send a counselor or two to help his heartbroken widow and bewildered sons asking for Daddy. They did not care. They were too busy covering their own asses. You can view the video of this story told by Dr. Sue Mather, the family friend who was there.

The officers involved got off scot-free. The administration put them on Leave WITH PAY while the trial was going on. In the courtroom, DuPree’s widow and her young sons begged Jordan to improve signing standards for officers, to prevent another tragic death due to lack of communication. What was his response? “No.” After the trial was over, the officers came back on campus, and did not recieve any punishment, to the best of my knowledge. Recently (less than two months ago) an officer was asked by Dr. Chris Huer if (s)he knew what happened to Carl DuPree. (S)he didn’t even know who Carl DuPree was. We cannot afford to forget Carl DuPree.

My grandmother survived Bergen Belsen, and she always advised me that the worst thing, the worst betrayal that could happen, would be to forget. We must remember, no matter how brutal and painful remembering may be. We cannot forget tragedy in our history, for those who forget history are condemned to repeat it. We must remember Carl DuPree. He died 16 years ago today. Honor his legacy.

Remember Carl DuPree.

3 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Who were those officers? They have to go, same goes for Ken Livingson.

Comment by justice must be served

Carl Schroder left all these details out of his retelling of Carl Dupree’s death. he acts dishonorably, not even apologizing for his actions on that day that helped lead to dupree’s death. Shame on you Schroder!

Comment by bibliomarket

I have one small correction… Carl died of a heartattack… not DPS putting him in a chokehold… just htought that was important

Comment by anon

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