Black Student Union Urges UC Irvine to Remove Police Department
The UC Irvine Black Student Union has asked the university to dismantle its police department. The student organization states that the university police department has not addressed the safety concerns for black students on campus.
The letter sent to campus administrators demanded that the police department and any additional “paramilitary force presence” be abolished in three to six months.
“The university does not adhere to black student concerns … regardless of instances of black death and police violence,” the letter states. “Therefore, our demand does not call for the reform of UCIPD, it calls for the dismantling of this institution’s presence in its entirety.”
Ironically, the group said it was not referring to a specific campus event or a pattern or practice by the department but rather an overall “anti-black sentiment” held by police. The letter discusses the increased police violence around the country since the 1992 riots in Los Angeles although they did not point to any evidence of that increase in police violence.
The group states that “Police presence on campus is a manifestation of anti-Black aggression. This aggression produces the same psychic damage and racial terror that Black folks suffer from beyond the university…..The police are emblematic of an endless array of dead Black bodies, the death of our loved ones, and of our communities.”
The university has no plans to dismantle the agency and issued the following statement:
“The UCI Police Department comprises a highly respected team of officers who risk their lives to ensure the safety of our students, faculty and staff,…..We are proud of them and will continue to support the department.”
Last March, Breitbart News, reported that a member of UCI’s Black Student Union sought to abolish all national flags, including the American flag from a common space on campus, suggesting the flag hurt the feelings of illegal immigrants and minority groups.
Currently, a Change.org Petition has garnered a few hundred signatures to abolish the police department.