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Student suing Kean police says ‘This is all our problem’ University releases surveillance video of his arrest By Rebecca Panico A former Kean honor student who is suing the Kean Police Department over alleged “excessive force” shared his story on campus at a book signing for the mother of Sean Bell, who was killed by police in New York City in 2006. Obidi Anamdi, who is suing Kean, attended the event on Nov. 1 for Valerie Bell at the campus’s Barnes & Noble and took a seat next to her during a questionand-answer segment. Valerie Bell spoke to a crowd of roughly 20 people about her book, “Just 23: Thoughts From a Mother.” Her son, Sean Bell, was 23 when he was killed by a hail of NYPD gunfire on the morning of his wedding. His death led to national attention and protests led by AfricanAmerican activist, the Rev. Al Sharpton. “I had an unfortunate, y’know, brush with the police,” said Anamdi, 25, as he sat next to Valerie Bell. “And long story short, I could’ve easily been Sean Bell. I just wanted to share my story because

you actually have somebody who went through that in your community who’s still alive to tell you their story,” he later added. In September, The Tower reported that Anamdi was suing Kean police, alleging that police battered him during an arrest in the Vaughn Eames parking lot on March 1, 2013. The university disputes Anamdi’s allegations. Surveillance video captured Anamdi’s arrest, and The Tower requested a copy through the Open Public Records Act in June. Such requests are generally fulfilled in seven business days. On Nov. 7, Kean released the surveillance video to The Tower; it can be viewed at This past summer, Union County Superior Court Judge Thomas Walsh dropped many of the claims in the suit but ruled that there was enough evidence to claim Anamdi’s civil rights were violated under the New Jersey Civil Rights Act. Walsh also said that Anamdi’s charge of conspiracy — in which he alleges that multiple officers acted in concert and

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Photo: Rebecca Panico

Obidi Anamdi, left, sits with the mother of Sean Bell at the Barnes and Noble bookstore at Kean for a signing of her book, “Just 23: Thoughts From a Mother.”

s s e r p to im

Professor Ed Johnston and student researchers demonstrating Liberty Hall 360.

Caela Stewart models clothing

Photo: Shelly Rodriguez

History comes to life with augmented reality By Rose Marie Kitchen

By Maggie Ortuso Shelly Rodriguez, a senior at Kean University, has designed and created a clothing line. The line is called Distressed by Shelly, and it is inspired by vintage clothing. “I got the idea because there was a $200 shirt I wanted but could not afford,” says Rodriguez. “Then I figured, why can’t I make it myself?” After so many people asked her where she got her first bleached shirt, Rodriguez got the idea to start making more and selling them. Shelly frequently goes to thrift shops, and that vintage feel is what gave her the idea of what to design. There are several pieces Rodriguez is making, one of them being bleached t-shirts. This process involves the designer taking an ordinary shirt, bleaching a design on it, and adding her own flair. Rodriguez calls this her “Bleach bae tee” and offers the option of getting a choker set as well. The set will cost $25, plus shipping and handling. There are several customers ready to purchase items being displayed on the Instagram page, @distressedbyshelly. If a customer is interested in buying an item on the page, they can direct message Rodriguez on the account. “I think it’s very inspirational and brave that Shelly is exposing her hard work and creativity to the world,” said Melissa Ceballos, a senior. “It is risky, because when you create something and spend time on it, you can only hope everyone loves it.”

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Photo courtesy of KeanLift

Reliving history and embracing the 1700s has become easier than ever before thanks to a newly developed augmented reality. Under the guidance of professor Ed Johnston, student researchers within the Michael Graves College have announced Liberty Hall 360. “Our liberty hall 360 project celebrates an important moment in the history of the United States,” said Johnston. Liberty Hall 360 is a collaborative research initiative with the Liberty Hall Museum that uses different mixed reality technologies to help create an immersive reenactment of a historic event that took place at Liberty Hall, in the 1700s. “Using your smart phone you can experience something that happened in the 1700s by simply downloading an app and taking a step back in time,” said Mac Peters, student researcher on the project, who

graduated in May 2016 with a major of graphic design. Liberty Hall 360 will create the wedding of John Jay and Sarah Livingston. The wedding took place at Liberty Hall on April 28, 1774 in the Great Hall of the museum. John Jay was one of the founding fathers and the first chief justice of the United States. John Jay and Sarah Livingston relationship became important to the independence of the United States. “You will actually be present in the space with everybody that is at this wedding,” James Wright, student researcher on the project, as well as senior, graphic design major. “When you walk in the door you might see servants carrying the food down to tables, or you might see guests waiting around waiting around for the wedding to begin.” While wearing the virtual reality glasses, individuals can experience the weddings as a guest. The video reenactment can be accessed through downloading an app or accessing it online. The project has successfully reached the goal of $5,000, through the KeanLift Crowdfunding Campaign, towards the purchase of a high quality 360-degree video camera. More information in regards to Lift f Kean o Liberty Hall 360 can be found on y es court Photo the KeanLift website.

The 360-degree camera

The Tower Nov. 2016  
The Tower Nov. 2016