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Boston University student newspaper calls for 'outright abolishing' campus police to improve safety

Jim Steinfeldt/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

A Boston University student newspaper editorial board calls for "outright abolishing" the campus police department because of its "egregious history and present of violence and racism."

On Wednesday, the Boston University student newspaper — The Daily Free Press — claimed that their campus has a "safety issue."

"Our campus has a safety issue," the editorial begins. "This safety issue has nothing to do with a lack of campus security forces — Boston University Police and BU security staff — are distributed throughout our campus."

The editorial claimed that Boston University security guards "have a history of harassing students of color and blocking students of color from entering shared spaces." To back up their claim, the article cited five incidents spanning from 1972 until one incident in April 2021 — when a security officer "wrestled a black man to the ground who they suspected had assaulted a student."

The outlet does not note whether the campus police officer was justified or not in wrestling the person to the ground in 2021.

The student newspaper alleged that the Boston University Police Department has a "racist history."

The editorial added, "From their own public statements to their racist history and present, it is clear the BUPD is not designed, nor does it seem willing, to protect all students on campus."

The outlet proclaimed, "Defunding this institution — or outright abolishing it — and creating new services in its wake that better address student and community needs may actually improve student safety." The editorial admitted that many individuals may have an issue with proposals to "defund or abolish the police," but said that they would be replaced by "community services."

"But as many activists have pointed out, abolition requires that we create more community services that would address people’s needs and community safety. To put it simply, you would always have someone to call — the number would just be different," the editorial said. "For instance, BU could increase funding for Scarlet SafeWalk, a program in which students escort anyone feeling unsafe to their home. BU could create a mental health task force specifically designed to deal with mental health crises and expand funding and resources for BU’s Sexual Assault Response and Prevention Center."

The editors proclaimed that a safe campus can't be achieved with "racist police institutions" that are available currently.

As of last week, Minneapolis has walked back efforts to defund the police and even abolish the police after violent crimes skyrocketed in the city.

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