A YouTube video of a lecture by Kathy Boudin, who became a Columbia University professor after serving a 22-year murder sentence for her role in a 1981 Brinks armored car robbery at the Nanuet Mall by members of the Weather Underground and Black Liberation Army, has reopened old wounds.
In the video of the March 4 lecture at the New York University School of Law, Boudin calls for the release of David Gilbert and Judith Clark, who also were sentenced for the robbery in which two Nyack police officers and a security guard were killed.
YouTube videos of the entire hourlong lecture and a clip of Boudin calling for the release of Gilbert and Clark triggered a stream of invective from commenters.
"I want to also talk about the people that are still in prison and not here and remember them," she said, naming Gilbert, Clark and others at the beginning of the lecture. "So many other people that aren't here. But I'm thinking of them. We want them here with us. And hopefully someday they will be."
Boudin's lecture was titled "Hope, Illusion and Imagination: the Politics of Parole and Re-entry in the Era of Mass Incarceration."
On April 9, Arthur Keenan Jr., a retired Nyack police detective wounded in the robbery, and other police offers staged a news conference in Goshen to denounce NYU for honoring Boudin.
In the news conference, Keenan said the universities are giving Boudin a forum.
"She is using the universities in New York, NYU and Columbia as her soapbox," Keenan said. "And I decided after 31 years I am going to have my own soapbox right here."
Efforts to reach Boudin, an adjunct professor at Columbia's School of Social Work, were unsuccessful.