Some of the students chained themselves to a stairwell in the building a few days ago to protest the formation of an armed campus police force.

Inside Higher Ed reports:

Full Shutdown

People at the Johns Hopkins University campus can’t walk into the main administrative building, because student protesters have chained its doors shut.

Security stands outside and posters paper the doors and windows — one reads “No Justice, No Peace, No Private Police.” The main entrance is obscured with fliers detailing opposition to the university’s plan to bring its own police force to the elite private institution in Baltimore.

The bleak setup conveys the tensions that have escalated between student activists and administrators in the past month. Critics of the police proposal have overtaken Garland Hall, saying that private, armed law enforcement would bring a host of issues. Students have spoken out about the risk of violence and racial profiling, a concern that other colleges and universities have encountered when attempting to beef up their police presences.

Especially in the last several years, campus police officers have been criticized for their handling of racial incidents and students with mental health issues — students elsewhere who are suicidal or experiencing psychotic episodes have been shot dead by police. Last month, a black couple, unarmed and fully compliant during a traffic stop, was shot by police near Yale University (not fatally). One of the officers was from Yale’s department, prompting protests that shut down two campus thoroughfares.

Hopkins currently uses a group of off-duty Baltimore City police, who would be replaced with sworn university police.


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