The former Yale University employee arrested for breaking a stained glass window depicting slaves tells NBC Connecticut he wants his job back.
The attorney for 38-year-old Corey Menafee said she expects his criminal charges to be dropped at his next court date.
“Yes, I’m wrong for my actions, however, what did a lot of other people wanted done as well,” Menafee said in a sit-down interview Thursday afternoon.
Menafee described the support he is receiving from the New Haven community, Yale alumni and students as “overwhelming and phenomenal.”
The father of two noticed the stained glass window of two African American slaves carrying baskets over their heads in a cotton field after a Yale alumnus pointed it out to him, his attorney Patricia Kane said.
“I just decided you know, it’s time for that picture to come down,” he said of his actions on the morning of June 13 in the Calhoun College dining hall.
“How did you break it?” NBC Connecticut asked.
“I used a broom handle and with two hands smashed it up,” he replied.
In an apology letter to the university and residential college, Menafee said he expressed remorse and regret.
“As a man with a sound mind and who can articulate and think,” he said, “that’s not the way you go about bring change, I’m aware of that.”
Kane said she has spoken with Yale’s attorney. She said she is “confident” at Menafee’s next court date on July 26, the state’s attorney will say it is unwilling to prosecute him for misdemeanor reckless endangerment and felony criminal mischief.
“The press interest, the public’s interest makes Yale pay attention to this,” Kane said. “Yale may think this is finished; it isn’t finished for Mr. Menafee.”
Yale law students have published this open letter urging Yale President Peter Salovey to “immediately offer Mr. Menafee reinstatement at his position.”
“Do you want your job back?” NBC Connecticut asked Menafee.
“I would love to have my job back,” he said, “yeah, I love my job. I don’t want anything to get misconstrued. I love Yale University, I love working for Yale University , alright, that’s an isolated incident as far as me breaking that image.”
In a campus wide email, Salovey called this situation “regrettable for all concerned.” He added a committee recommended removing several images from Calhoun College for study and exhibitions, including the stained glass window Menafee shattered.
“The employee apologized for his actions and subsequently resigned from the University. The University has requested that the State’s Attorney not press charges. Yale is also not seeking restitution,” a Yale University spokesperson said earlier this week.