Gregory Morton: We marched. We petitioned. We packed an open forum. We delivered two hundred flowers to the university president. And exactly one month after our friends were beaten and arrested by the police, we won. The prosecutor today offered a plea bargain that was tantamount to dropping the charges: the arrestees were offered brief supervisions, after which they will have nothing on their records. In the case of Toussaint, the offer was for six months of supervision. When the plea was taken before the court, the judge decided to amend it. He sentenced Toussaint to one day of supervision. The internet in general, and change.org in particular, proved very powerful tools. When Tous and Jacob were beaten, we had video of the beatings on YouTube and Facebook within an hour. Several hours later, our petition was out on change.org. All night long, we got phone calls and messages from supporters... and the petition signatures racked up. By 6am the following morning, we already had 500. We decided to deliver these to the University president that morning, and sent out a quick email. By 10am, were inside the president's office, 30 people standing with us, four news cameras behind us, and 600 petition signatures in hand. That was 19 hours after the beatings actually took place. Way to go, internet. Way to go, change.org. Now it's time to keep struggling. The South Side *still* has no trauma center. Take a look at the trauma center petition http://www.change.org/petitions/university-of-chicago-medical-center-expand-access-to-lifesaving-trauma-care-on-the-south-side-of-chicago And in whatever way you make justice in your world, keep making it. Because sometimes, you win.
University of Chicago administration
Explain recent police violence on campus, and take care of those affected by it
On January 27th, University of Chicago police officers forcibly arrested four people who had come to protest the lack of a trauma center at the U of C Medical Center. The officers used a level of force that shocked those present.
See the following videos:
...and the following article in the Chicago Tribune:
The protest was entirely peaceful, except for the police violence. None of the arrestees forcibly resisted arrest. Two of those arrested were in fact attempting to resolve the situation: one, Toussaint Losier, was the designated police mediator, and another, Jacob Klippenstein, was filming the event. Two other participants were also arrested: Alex Goldenberg and Victoria Crider. Toussaint Losier is a PhD student in the University of Chicago history department, and Alex Goldenberg is an alumnus.
The police seem to have singled out Toussaint Losier for especially harsh treatment. After choking him with a nightstick, they kept him handcuffed and forced him to lie face-down on cold cement for approximately ten minutes in sub-freezing weather. It is notable that Toussaint, an African American student and a beloved campus leader, was active in the University committee that attempted to defuse the crisis surrounding Mauriece Dawson, an African American student arrested by UCPD in the Regenstein Library in 2010.
( http://chicagomaroon.com/2010/02/26/student-arrested-in-reg/ )
At this moment, we are saddened and upset by the injuries to people on our own campus. We hope to maintain a proper balance between campus order and vibrant speech. So we ask the University administration to clearly explain what happened, to intervene so as to speedily resolve any outstanding legal issues by asking for any charges against the arrestees to be dropped, and to respond to commentary from the campus and surrounding community. And we ask the administration to help take care of the people harmed in the incident.