Keep semiautomatic rifles out of the hands of our campus police.

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Keep semiautomatic rifles out of the hands of our campus police.

This petition had 7,562 supporters
Marley Kimelman started this petition to President of Northeastern University Joseph Aoun and

 

Last year, many of us watched, thunderstruck, as law enforcement descended on the Ferguson, Missouri protests with assault weapons, armored vehicles and tear gas. Americans quickly realized that the civilian police force was becoming more militarized, and more threatening to the citizens they are sworn to protect. When the smoke cleared, even the president vowed to take measures to stop the “military creep” of our police force.

Recently, however, my school, Northeastern University (NU) in Boston, has experienced a military creep of its own, as NU officials have decided to equip campus officers with semiautomatic rifles in case of campus emergencies. The NUPD Chief and Northeastern administration made this decision without consulting The Boston Police Department, the community, or even the very students who are financing these weapons with their tuition dollars.

I am asking you to please stand with us in our quest to remove all semiautomatic rifles from the NUPD. We must focus instead on creating a peaceful and trustworthy relationship between NUPD officers and students.

In a statement to the Boston Globe, Boston Police Department spokesman Lieutenant Michael McCarthy said, “We’re concerned when we see ... campus police departments... make decisions without including Boston police in the process. Decisions like this should involve full community involvement and transparency.” And city council members have said it was a step back that encourages mistrust and fear. I couldn’t agree more.

As students, many of us are appalled with our administration's complete lack of transparency in making this decision, along with the militarization of the under-trained campus police force. We value their protection, but an escalation like this is shocking and needs to be overturned immediately. The BPD and SWAT forces are far better trained, and capable of responding to an emergency situation in a matter of minutes.

Tell NU officials and NUPD that we don’t want to study in a warzone, and to stop the militarization of America’s campuses. Please join us in asking them to remove the semiautomatic rifles from our school.

Thank you. Feel free to submit your specific comments and concerns in the NUPD suggestion box found here.

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