Kent State police chief: Race not a factor in Kernich death

Ben Wolford

University to boost campus patrols

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Credit: DKS Editors

John Peach, Kent State chief of police, said the assault on Christopher M. Kernich that led to his death was not provoked by racial comments.

“The windows had tinted glass,” he said. “They didn’t know what race was inside the suspects’ car. Some of these rumors that are taking place are ridiculous.”

The Kent Police Department is investigating the case, but Peach said he has been in contact with officials there.

Some Web sites and blogs have suggested, in explicit language, that Kernich was at fault in the beating.

“Nobody could have predicted how these suspects acted and why,” Peach said. “It’s inexplicable.”

Peach met with Kent State President Lester Lefton today to discuss campus safety. They’ve resolved to increase patrols on campus, sacrificing “a little more money” for the time and a half they’ll pay officers for overtime.

Peach didn’t know specifically how much extra it would cost, but he said they wouldn’t boost patrols when most people leave campus for Thanksgiving break.

Peach is meeting with his twin brother, James Peach, chief of the Kent Police Department, today to talk about a “crack in the protocol” in the aftermath of the assault on Kernich.

Lefton said the city police and the university were not in communication during the first days of that investigation, and it affected his ability to make decisions about student safety. Peach said that lack of contact was unusual.

Contact news team leader Ben Wolford at [email protected].