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UCLA Race and Equity Director Who Said Clarence Thomas 'Can Choke' Fabricated a Racial Incident with Police

Erin Schaff/The New York Times via AP, Pool

Julio recently reported on Johnathan Perkins, the director for Race and Equity at the University of California-Los Angeles, who, in a series of tweets, ranted against Justice Clarence Thomas, even tweeting "he can go" and he "can choke." Perkins also questioned whether Thomas was as sick as was reported before doubling down on his death wish. The rating thread remains up. As Mia Cathell covered for The Post Millennial, though, there's even more when it comes to Perkins' questionable past on racial issues. 


Cathell details quite the dramatic incident of Perkins fabricating a story of police misconduct from 2011 when he was a student at the University of Virginia School of Law. Perkins would also go on to promote the riots in the summer of 2020. 

From Cathell's reporting:

While a student at the University of Virginia School of Law in 2011, he made national news when he claimed he was the victim of racial profiling by the school's police department. The case resulted in FBI involvement and what Perkins maintains was "a coerced recantation." Years later, Perkins went public with "the full story," alleging that a federal agent pressured him to recant his initial claim. 

When he was a young law student, Perkins claimed the campus police racially profiled him until he recanted the allegation weeks later. Six to seven years passed by before Perkins decided to "set the record straight," according to a 2018 Associated Press exposé where he claimed he was under duress when he said he fabricated the tale about how two white cops harassed him because he is black. 

"I want people to know what actually happened. I want people to know that people of color don't have to make these things up," Perkins told the AP in an interview

The years' old report noted that a statute of limitations for a charge of making a false statement expired two years earlier in 2016. Perkins mentioned at the time he was no longer worried authorities could bring such charges against him. 

UVA's student-run newspaper The Cavalier Daily reported that in the university's press release announcing the confession, campus police decided not to press charges or to treat it as a criminal case. 

"I recognize that police misconduct does occur," UVA police chief Michael Gibson said, noting he didn't want to deter others. "Pressing charges in this case might inhibit another individual who experiences real police misconduct from coming forward with a complaint. I want to send the message just how seriously we take such charges and that we will always investigate them with care and diligence." 

Perkins said he was stopped by the university's officers on the evening of March 31 2011, while walking home from a party. According to the sequences of events detailed by Perkins, the campus cops said he "fit the description" of a wanted individual, they searched him, and then pushed him against the police cruiser. 

When the college student asked for the pair's names and police badge numbers, the cops replied, "You don't need to worry about that," Perkins recounted. He said the duo then followed him in the police car until he entered his apartment. 

Perkins wrote about the alleged police stop in a letter to the editor of the school newspaper, telling Virginia Law Weekly that "it is important for my classmates to hear a real-life anecdote illustrating the myth of equal protection under the law." 

The theatrical testimony reportedly included descriptions of how he was manhandled as well as lines of dialogue from the alleged encounter. 

After its publication, Perkins was embraced by supporting students and local residents in the Charlottesville community, a hyper-liberal college town that touts its inclusivity and boasts that "diversity makes us stronger." Two university police lieutenants told Perkins an investigation has been launched into the incident. 

Perkins said the next month he was contacted by FBI agent Robert Hilland, alongside campus police lieutenants, who interviewed him in a small conference room at the law school. Perkins said he sensed the investigation was focused on himself, not the officers in question. "He said something to the effect of, if the FBI got involved, he would release the hounds," Perkins said to AP reporters.


Perkins went on to acknowledge that he made up the incident:

According to legal news website Above The Law, the university statement said that on May 5, 2011, after a thorough investigation into allegations that campus officers had mistreated Perkins, he "acknowledged that his story had been a fabrication." 

"I wrote the article to bring attention to the topic of police misconduct," Perkins said in a written statement, quoted by an archived version of the May 6, 2011, university press release. "The events in the article did not occur," he wrote. 


The university's Honor Committee later charged Perkins with lying, meaning he could be kicked out of law school. However, in the end, Perkins was acquitted.

Mystal has advocated for similarly outrageous takes over the years. Recently, he claimed that by questioning Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson's record of lenient sentencing for sex offenders who preyed on children and had footage of child pornography, Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) was trying to get Judge Jackson killed. "He is trying to get violence done against a Supreme Court nominee," Mystal hysterically claimed on MSNBC last month.  

Andy Ngô also tweeted about Perkins earlier on Sunday.


Not only does such a history about Perkins provide greater context to his tweets about Justice Thomas, but it shows a racist attitude towards white people and fellow Black people who don't think like Perkins and Mystal.

While Anna Spain Bradley, vice chancellor for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion at UCLA, said in a statement to Townhall that "This tweet does not reflect my or UCLA EDI’s views," the disciplinary actions towards Perkins, or lack thereof, says something about UCLA too. 

As Jonathan Turley, a legal analyst and law professor, expressed on his blog last Wednesday, he "still support[s] the right of Perkins and other faculty and students in being able to speak freely on social media." UCLA, however, has taken disciplinary actions before towards students and professors who have expressed offensive remarks, Turley also described. 

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