UC Davis English Department Demands Disbanding of Campus Police
The English Department of the University of California at Davis has posted a statement on their webpage that not only calls for the resignation of Chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi. The department also demands nothing less than the dissolution of the campus police in response to Lt. John Pike pepper-spraying student protesters at point-blank range:
The faculty of the UC Davis English Department supports the Board of the Davis Faculty Association in calling for Chancellor Katehi’s immediate resignation and for “a policy that will end the practice of forcibly removing non-violent student, faculty, staff, and community protesters by police on the UC Davis campus.” Further, given the demonstrable threat posed by the University of California Police Department and other law enforcement agencies to the safety of students, faculty, staff, and community members on our campus and others in the UC system, we propose that such a policy include the disbanding of the UCPD and the institution of an ordinance against the presence of police forces on the UC Davis campus, unless their presence is specifically requested by a member of the campus community. This will initiate a genuinely collective effort to determine how best to ensure the health and safety of the campus community at UC Davis.
English professor Nathan Brown has also written an open letter to Katehi demanding her resignation:
There must be space for protest and dissent, especially, when the object of protest and dissent is police brutality itself. You may not order police to forcefully disperse student protesters peacefully protesting police brutality. You may not do so. It is not an option available to you as the Chancellor of a UC campus. That is why I am calling for your immediate resignation.
Your words express concern for the safety of our students. Your actions express no concern whatsoever for the safety of our students. I deduce from this discrepancy that you are not, in fact, concerned about the safety of our students. Your actions directly threaten the safety of our students. ….
I call for your resignation because you are unfit to do your job. You are unfit to ensure the safety of students at UC Davis. In fact: you are the primary threat to the safety of students at UC Davis. As such, I call upon you to resign immediately.
Katehi had ordered police on campus. At a town hall meeting attended by some 1,000 students on Tuesday night, she said that she had “directed the chief of police that violence should be avoided at all costs.”
But is she not saying too little and too, too late?
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