Published On: Wed, Apr 27th, 2016

Some faculty joins Univ of Washington students’ call to ‘Disarm the cops’

A vocal group of students and faculty at the University of Washington have demanded that campus police be disarmed, saying officers are racist and the police force is guilty of institutional racism.

Much of the outrage and unrest stems from a March 6 incident when a police officer arrested a man visiting campus on a felony warrant. Amman Girma, a black academic adviser, detailed how the  police racially profiled his friends, pulled out their firearms and ““humiliated” them.

From The Daily:

Girma documented his version of the encounter in an email to Julia Ismael, a student involvement coordinator at Seattle Central College, who was inquiring about the whereabouts of a student who was with Girma when they encountered the UWPD.

According to the email, forwarded to The Daily by a student who wished to remain anonymous, Girma was giving a tour to four Seattle Central students when they were stopped outside his Raitt Hall office by UWPD officers. Girma wrote that officers held the group at gunpoint and detained one of the students.


no racism symbol slash logoNorman Arkans, associate vice president of media relations for the university, told The College Fix in an email there are “conflicting versions of the initial incident involving UW police and the undergraduate adviser and students from Seattle Central College.”

The university has hired an independent, external investigator to fact-find and determine what transpired, a process still in the works.

“If it turns out there was inappropriate behavior on the part of any of our employees, that will be dealt with,” Arkans said.

Meanwhile, a group of faculty in an open letter to President Ana Mari Cauce have called for administrators to “review and restrict the presence and use of weapons and canine units by UWPD on campus” and prohibit “racial profiling, surveillance, search, stop and frisk and harassment based on skin color or any identity/appearance without a warrant.”

Change.org petition launched in late March accuses campus police of systemic racial profiling and asserts “campus police should not be armed.”

Other demands from protestors include campus leaders issuing a statement of zero tolerance for racism, hiring professional “overcoming racism” mediators, and comprehensive and ongoing “overcoming racism” training for staff, students faculty in the Department of Global Health.

The Department of Global Health is chaired by Dr. Judith Wasserheit, who is white. Students claim there is racial inequity in the department, including a lack of faculty of color.


photo Frerieke from The Hague, The Netherlands via wikimedia commons

photo Frerieke from The Hague, The Netherlands via wikimedia commons

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About the Author

- Catherine "Kaye" Wonderhouse, a proud descendant of the Wunderhaus family is the Colorado Correspondent who will add more coverage, interviews and reports from this midwest area.

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