The two Harvard students who were the "nexus" between the alleged shooters and the victim in the Harvard killing last week have been identified—and one of them is saying she had nothing to do with it and charging the university with racism.
Harvard seniors Chanequa Campbell, 21, and Brittany Smith, 22, were reportedly friendly with Jabrai Jordan Copney, who was arrested Thursday in connection with the shooting death of Justin Cosby in the basement of a Harvard dorm; Smith has been identified as Copney's girlfriend.
Though Campbell denies any role in the shooting, Harvard has ordered her off campus and told her she will not graduate as scheduled on June 4. No action has apparently been taken against Smith.
Campbell, a National Merit Scholar, is from Bedford-Stuyvesant in Brooklyn, and is a recipient of scholarships from Coca-Cola and the New York Times Co. She told reporters yesterday that she had never met Cosby, and knew Copney only through her friend Smith. Authorities have said that a Harvard student gave Copney a student card that he used to gain access to the dorm where Cosby was shot; Campbell says it wasn't her card. Harvard offered no comment on why it would bar her from campus.
"I have no knowledge of anything that happened, none whatsoever," Campbell said....
Asked why she believes Harvard administrators took the actions they did, she said she was not making an "overall claim of racism," but "I do believe I am being singled out. . . . The honest answer to that is that I'm black and I'm poor and I'm from New York and I walk a certain way and I keep my clothes a certain way," she said. "It's something that labels me as different from everyone else."
Campbell also told reporters that she had no knowledge of any drug-dealing on campus; prosecutors have described the shooting as a drug robbery gone wrong, and campus rumors are swirling that one of the two girls acted as distributors for Cosby, who was said to be a major campus supplier. He was found with a pound of marijuana and $1,000 in cash.
It's strange that Smith, the long-time girlfriend of the alleged killer, will graduate as planned next month while Campbell, with no explanation from Harvard, will not.
Recipients of New York Times scholarships traditionally spend a summer working at the paper; according to a Times spokesperson, Campbell interned in the sports department in 2005.