A tweet posted by a St. John’s University student threatening to “smash” a fellow student’s laptop because it is adorned with a Donald Trump sticker has created an uproar on social media, with allegations about what happened being thrown around by both sides.
Trump supporters quickly came to the defense of the female student pictured in the Twitter photo, Brianna Algazali, attacking the poster, Clifford Durand, who received support from his followers and others.
Durand posted the tweet using the name “Ock Papi”, a screenshot of which you can see above, on Wednesday, writing “7000 retweets and I’ll smash this b*tch’s computer.” His account, @ockisdead, has since been suspended by Twitter.
Neither student responded to requests for comment from Heavy.com.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Durand & Algazali Reportedly Got Into an Altercation After Class
A student told the New York Daily News that after class, Brianna Algazali found out about the tweet and a confrontation occurred in a hallway area. What happened during that dispute is not clear.
The student told the newspaper Algazali asked Clifford Durand to take down the post and he told her to “make me.” The student said Durand then punched her in the chest. Durand and supporters said on Twitter that she threw a Starbucks coffee at him before he pushed her in the neck.
“She raised her voice and she threw her drink on him,” Durand’s friend told told the Daily News. “He looked like he was in shock. I went towards him to hold him back.”
The initial tweet was retweeted more than 19,000 times before Durand’s account was deleted.
2. Durand Was Interviewed by Campus Public Safety
According to posts on social media, Clifford Durand, the student who initially posted the photo, was interviewed by campus public safety.
The above video was posted showing Durand leaving the public safety office. It is not known if Brianna Algazali was also interviewed.
Several reviews have been left on the St. John’s Facebook page, calling for Durand to be punished.
“A young lady today was threatened and harassed by black lives matter activists on your campus, as well as on twitter for her political views. I believe this is highly unacceptable, disturbing, and hopefully not encouraged or enabled by St. Johns University. Appropriate action must be taken to protect the rights and safety of this young woman,” wrote Shaun Shook.
Another person, Joseph George, wrote “We’re supposed to have freedom of speech in this country. That being said, today a male assaulted a young woman just because she had a Donald Trump sticker on her laptop and SJU let him walk without any repercussion. He and his friends then celebrated the whole event on social media. Would not recommend any parent sending their child to this school.”
3. The University Responded on Twitter, Saying ‘We Hear Your Concerns’ & ‘Safety Is Our Top Priority’
While the university has not directly commented on the incident or whether the students could face disciplinary action, they posted on Twitter after receiving several messages about it.
“Thank you everyone who reported the incident to us. This type of behavior will not be tolerated. Public Safety is handling the situation,” the university said.
“We hear your concerns. Safety is our top priority. Any student in violation of our Code of Conduct is subject to our conduct process,” it said in a second tweet.
4. Durand Is a Freshman From Long Island, New York Who Works for the St. John’s Athletic Department
Durand, 18, is a freshman from Long Island, New York, according to his Facebook page and other social media accounts.
He is a student worker for the St. John’s athletic department, setting up events, maintaining courts and fields and assisting the athletic teams, according to his profile on Harri.com.
He has also worked at a clothing store and as a barback. The Baldwin Senior High School graduate is studying chemistry at St. John’s.
5. Algazali Is a Junior From Connecticut & a Member of a Campus Sorority
Brianna Algazali, 20, is a junior originally from Connecticut, according to her Twitter and Facebook profiles. She made her Twitter account private after the incident went viral Wednesday, but a fake Twitter account in her name, @BriannAlgazali, was created.
She is a member of the Lambda Phi sorority, according to her Facebook page.