Students interrupt panel to criticize police
Some students and faculty at several Atlanta universities are rallying against a police training center.
The city plans to spend $90 million on an 85 acre facility, which has drawn criticism from some activists, Inside Higher Ed reported.
The opposition comes despite the fact the training center will include instruction on demands usually made by reform activists. “Our training includes vital areas like de-escalation training techniques, mental health, community-oriented policing, crisis intervention training, as well as civil rights history, education,” Mayor Andrew Dickens said at a recent press conference.
That does not matter to the students and faculty who object to the mere presence of police.
Students from Morehouse College and Spelman College, both historically black colleges, interrupted a panel in early February about labor rights to make their demands known.
The Morehouse students might want to talk to their peers. After a series of break-ins at cars in September, some called for greater security to protect their property.
“They need to up security. They need to fix the door,” Morehouse student Omar Kaba said at the time. “I mean there’s not much you can do about the fence, but at the very least you can have security patrolling more regularly.”
Faculty from Morehouse College also condemned “cop city,” as the opponents have dubbed it.
“We must listen to and learn from this history. We must study how state violence directed against Black, Indigenous, People of Color [BIPOC]—as well as working-class people of all colors—reproduces itself in different ways over generations,” the signers wrote. “We must listen to the voices of those most affected by police violence and abuse. Our civic leaders have not done this. On the contrary.”
They wrote further:
We, the undersigned members of the Morehouse College faculty, call upon our civic leaders and fellow educators in Atlanta to denounce Cop City, to take immediate action to cancel the project, and to respond to the will of the people—and not merely the wealthy and well connected—in determining the character of our communities and the conduct of those who claim to serve and protect us.
The push among leftist students and academics to oppose the police in general stands in contrast to the experiences of students and professors in other major cities.
For example, after the murder of multiple University of Chicago affiliates, hundreds of professors demanded more cops in the South Side of Chicago where the school is located.
Students at Temple University in Philadelphia have also called for more policing and better security due to the rampant crime problems.
In Minnesota, parents and students have demanded greater police presence. In fact, a boosted police presence near campus was followed by a 38 percent drop in crime.
After a killing on campus, University of New Mexico’s student government also passed a resolution calling for more police.
Police abolition is yet another idea from academia that may win you some applauds in the faculty lounge but fails when tried in real life.
IMAGE: Atlanta Police Department/Facebook