Charges dropped vs. worker who broke window depicting slaves

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) " Prosecutors dropped charges Tuesday against a black Yale University dining services worker who used a broomstick to smash a stained-glass window depicting slaves.

The end of the criminal case came a day after Corey Menafee returned to work at Yale.

Menafee, 38, said he destroyed the window inside Calhoun College in June because he found it offensive. The image was of a male and a female slave carrying bales of cotton and smiling.

"It's the 21st century; you shouldn't have to see that," Menafee said earlier this month.

The name of the residential college has sparked protests because it honors former Vice President John C. Calhoun, an 1804 Yale graduate and an ardent defender of slavery.

Menafee was charged with felony criminal mischief and misdemeanor reckless endangerment.

But he and the school reached an agreement. He apologized and resigned and the school said it would support dropping the charges.

Prosecutor David Strollo told Judge Philip Scarpellino Tuesday that in light of the school's position that there was no reason to pursue the case further.

Yale announced last week it would rehire Menafee and he would be assigned to a different setting.

Menafee thanked his supporters outside the courthouse before being escorted away by his attorney, who said Menafee needed to get to work.

More than a dozen people gathered on the courthouse steps Tuesday, again demanding the school change the name of the college.

They chanted "Justice for Corey Menafee" and held up signs, including one that read "Corey Menafee is our Rosa Parks," a reference to the civil rights heroine who refused to give up her seat on a bus in Montgomery, Alabama, in 1955.

Yale President Peter Salovey in April announced the college would continue to carry Calhoun's name but that two new residential colleges would be named for Benjamin Franklin and Pauli Murray, the co-founder of the National Organization for Women and a civil rights leader.

After the window was broken inside the dining hall, Yale officials recommended that it and other windows be removed from Calhoun College and conserved for future study.

This story has been automatically published from the Associated Press wire which uses US spellings

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