The son of former Obama administration official Susan Rice has decided to drop charges against a fellow Stanford student he claims assaulted him.
Unlike his mother, John David Rice-Cameron is a Republican and Trump supporter.
As president of the Stanford College Republicans, he and other members of the organization held an event last week on the Palo Alto campus celebrating Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation.
The group regularly holds what they call “Change My Mind” events to promote conservative viewpoints. But things turned ugly when Rice-Cameron, a Stanford junior, got into a disagreement with a female student, whom he accused of assaulting him.
According to Stanford’s Department of Public Safety, Rice-Cameron alleged “the female suspect shoved him in his chest with her hand during a verbal disagreement. There was no obvious physical injury to the victim and he declined to be evaluated by paramedics. “
The female student, identified as sophomore Melinda Hernandez, was issued a citation for battery and the case was submitted to the Santa Clara District Attorney’s Office for review.
But on Monday night, Rice-Cameron decided not to pursue the case any further, putting an end to any legal entanglements.
In a post on the Stanford College Republicans’ Facebook page, the organization writes, “With civility on the decline in our political discourse, divisions in our country have never been higher. Across the nation, we have increasingly seen unfortunate acts of political violence.”
It goes on to say, “At Stanford as everywhere, civility must be restored. Although it is entirely within the legal rights of our president to press charges, he has decided to drop the charges in an expression of goodwill and in the hope that doing so will help diffuse tension on campus.”
The organization also called on Hernandez to apologize. Prior to the announcement, Hernandez declined to provide any statements to CNN and said she was withholding comment until she obtained legal representation.
Rice-Cameron also declined a request for an interview.
During the dispute, a Facebook video appears to show some students trying to take away some signs from the group’s table.
Ben Esposito, the Stanford College Republicans’ treasurer, told CNN: “They were just trying to kind of harass us in some ways. And our job is to stop them from doing that. I would kind of take it back gently and say, no, you can’t do that. This is our property. “
What would otherwise be a little noticed dispute, the case gained national attention because of the political separation between Rice-Cameron and his prominent mother, the former national security adviser and United States Ambassador to the United Nations during the Obama administration.
She is also considering mounting a campaign against Sen. Susan Collins of Maine, in the wake of the Kavanaugh confirmation battle, in which Collins provided a decisive vote for Kavanaugh.
In an interview last year with Stanford Politics, Rice said her political differences with her son did not mean a split in their relationship.
“I love him very much and I’m very proud of him,” she told the student magazine. “And even though we may differ on substantive issues — many substantive issues, not all — that doesn’t get in the way of my ability to support and encourage him and love him the way you would hope any parent would.”