Students at Loyola University in Chicago are demanding accountability after campus police took a Black student into custody when he intervened in the police search of two Black men on campus Saturday.
The incident that prompted the student’s arrest involved the campus police searching two men who were allegedly scalping tickets outside the Gentile Arena at a sold-out men’s basketball game. Officers determined that the men were not students, and they were eventually released with a verbal trespass warning, according to the student newspaper Loyola Phoenix.
Students who were protesting over school funding of a new athletic facility witnessed the police searching the two Black men. One of them, identified as Alan Campbell by the newspaper, approached the officers. Campbell believed the cops were using “excessive force.” Campbell and other protesters reportedly followed the officers as they took the men to a different location.
Officers forcibly detained Campbell and a second protester, identified as Paloma Fernandez, who intervened. One of the officers grabbed Fernandez and pushed her against a wall, while the others wrestled Campbell onto the ground. It was captured on video:
Police placed the protester into custody
The officers handcuffed Campbell and placed him in a patrol vehicle for about 45 minutes. After they released him from the car, Dean of Students Will Rodriguez later took Campbell to the Office of Student Conduct and Conflict Resolution. Student protesters joined Campbell in the office where they demanded accountability from the dean of students on racial issues at the school.
Racial insensitivity at Loyola
Charges of racial insensitivity rocked the campus over a dining hall menu for Black History Month on Feb. 8 that included fried chicken and grape Kool-Aid. The school was also the scene of protests in 2015 in which students marched in solidarity with Black student demonstrators at the University of Missouri.
Statement from Loyola
Here’s a statement NewsOne received from the university about the incident: “We understand in our current social environment there is a heightened sensitivity to racial profiling by law enforcement. However, racial profiling is not what happened at Loyola outside Gentile last Saturday. This incident was not about race—it was about safety. ”