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Defund and Dismantle YPD
As our nation continues to grieve the losses of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd and Tony McDade, we are chillingly reminded of how their lives were taken by the same ghoulish carceral state that has time and again haunted Black individuals in New Haven and on Yale’s campus. In the past five years alone, the Yale Police Department (YPD) has had numerous high profile racial incidents with no change to policy (for more information, click here). Despite being a private police force, the YPD has one of the highest police budgets in the state, and, according to the Connecticut General Statutes, YPD has “all the powers conferred upon municipal police officers for the City of New Haven.” Yale University already has Yale Security patrolling campus, offering escorts and safe rides to students, and overseeing the blue phones and card reader systems. Very bluntly, why does the YPD exist? The organization has the same goals as Yale Security, the same power as the New Haven Police Department, but, most importantly, none of their accountability or oversight. In a May 21st letter, President Peter Salovey told the Yale community, “I know that many members of our community feel fear in their daily lives because of the injustices they have experienced and witnessed, and I thought of how fear so reliably leads to anxiety, depression, health deterioration, and anger, and also to aggression and even violence.” Peter, if you understand the psychology of our trauma, why do you perpetuate it? Some of us cannot simply, “do what we can to replace fear with hope” when we fear the constant presence of armed police officers that enter our homes, patrol our community and incite violence against our innocent. Because of this catalogue of reasons, the Black Students for Disarmament at Yale affirm our mission to hold Yale accountable for taking part in the overmilitirized ecosystem of hatred and violence that abbreviated the lives of those whose names we will never forget. We unequivocally demand that Yale University: Dismantle the YPD. Permanently halt funding directed toward any police force, and instead, use that money to support New Haven organizations that actually keep the community safe. Go to defundYPD.com for Action 2 to hold the administration accountable!