Ohio State student government demands university cut ties with Columbus Police, citing ‘injustices against the black community’ & protesters

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — The Ohio State University’s student government councils have sent a joint letter to university officials demanding ties with the Columbus Division of Police be severed.

Undergraduate Student Body president Roaya Higazi, Council of Graduate Students president Stephen Post, and Council of Student Affairs chair Jordan Vajda cite “injustices against the Black Community and Columbus Protestors” by CPD as the reason for their demands.

“The Columbus Police Department (CPD) responded to peaceful protestors and large crowds with wooden bullets, teargas, pepper spray, and other chemical agents and military-grade
forces. We witnessed our peers and Columbus neighbors endure unwarranted physical and verbal aggression for peacefully demanding justice and exercising their right to protest,” they said in their letter addressed to President Michael V. Drake, Senior Vice President Jay Kasey, Vice President Dr. Melissa Shivers, Chief Kimberley Spears-McNatt, and Director of Public Safety Monica Moll.

They sent the university a list of five demands:

1. The Ohio State University Police Department (OSUPD) immediately cease contractual agreements with Columbus Police Department for any and all on-campus investigations, services, and events.

2. The OSUPD immediately cease Mutual Aid service contracts with the Columbus Police Department and strongly reevaluate Joint Patrol operations to restrict the presence of and limit the frequency of calls to CPD officers and resources in the off-campus
living areas.

3. The Ohio State University no longer accept federal, military-grade resources and reduce OSUPD’s budget for expenditures that may be used for further militarization. Instead, reallocate the funds to further invest in student support units, such as the Office of
Diversity and Inclusion, the Student Life Multicultural Center, Student Life Counseling and Consultation Services, or the StudentLife Student Wellness Center.

4. The OSU Department of Public Safety release an action plan, devised with student input, that affirms the commitment to Black student safety and overall university safety through disarmed, anti-force, and culturally competent practices.

5. The Ohio State University acknowledge and condemn the anti-Black violence the Columbus Police Department committed against Ohio State students and the greater Columbus community.

A spokesperson for OSU said in response to their demands:

As President Drake wrote on Saturday, George Floyd suffered a horrendous and completely unnecessary death. His killing, and those that have come before, demand that we create a different future. We know our students are hurting, we are here to support them, and we are inspired by their commitment to this cause. We must all work together to end abuse, discrimination, bigotry, and hatred. We will be in dialogue with our student government leaders about the specific concerns they have raised.

Read their full letter to the university here:

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