On the morning of Jan. 24, Alec Popivker admitted on Instagram to committing the alleged theft of the Palestinian Human Rights student organization banner from CSU’s Student Center that went missing on Jan. 11.
“As an act of civil disobedience, I have removed the terrorist banner that erases the Jewish state that was displayed at the Cleveland State University Student Center,” Popivker said in the post. “Pan Arab Nazi flag is designated as a terrorist symbol by Israel. Is the CSU really in solidarity with this?”
Cleveland State has been investigating the matter of Popivker and even launched a persona non grata hearing that is still under review, according to the University.
Cleveland State Police Department has referred the theft to a prosecutor. Under case 2023-CRB-000551 in the Cleveland Municipal Court, Popivker is being charged with theft.
According to the Ohio Revised Code (ORC) 2913.02, the charge can carry a penalty of six months and a $2500 fine if found guilty. Popivker is due in court Febuary 2.
“The University takes all reports of harassment or intimidation seriously. The matter involving Mr. Popivker is still under review,” Cleveland State said in a statement to The Cauldron. “CSU police are investigating the reported theft of the Palestinian Human Rights Organization’s banner. The University has reached out to the leaders of the Palestinian and Muslim organizations on campus to hear any concerns they may have and offer support.”
The Cauldron submitted a public record request for the police report on Jan. 18 and has yet to receive it.
This is a developing Story. Updates will be posted as they become available.
UPDATE – JAN 25. 2023: Cleveland State Police Department has referred the theft to a prosecutor. Popivker was officially charged with theft. His case is pending.