Make UVA Accountable
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The University of Virginia Police Department arrests students that call 911 for medical care, even AT the hospital entrance, contradicting their own policy representations to UVA students. Demand rescue, not arrest.
See video link below.
Jessie was arrested in front of the UVA Hospital ER entrance, taken away from treatment sought for her by her friend on a 911 Gordie call, and could easily have died from alcohol poisoning in jail where she received no treatment.
Jessie was charged with a felony and now has a life-long record simply because her friend tried to save her life doing what UVA instructs students to do; her friend was also arrested for refusing to leave her. UVA has repeatedly declined to even meet, missed subpoena deadlines, failed to provide subpoenaed materials, and shown no interest in their students' well-being or future.
PLEASE, sign this petition and pass to your friends to...
Tell UVA that a Gordie call to save a life should never result in arrest for the caller or the patient. (see gordie.org at UVA). RESCUE not ARREST.
-Tell UVA to change its policy on sending law enforcement to medical calls and send rescue with police as backup instead. Officers are trained to look for crimes and the presence of an officer creates unhealthy tension, especially when hospital visits are supposed to be off the record under UVA policy.
-Tell UVA to train its hospital personnel to properly and expeditiously respond to patients at its front door, and to put medical personnel, NOT police officers in charge of medical decisions. “Sober enough to run” is not a medical test. A priority 3 call assignment (“does not require immediate response”) for assistance getting to the ER is not acceptable.
-Tell UVA that you want police/rescue protocol for, and personnel versed in, laws like VA 37.2-1103 that allow for emergency treatment of incapacitated or unfit persons who refuse treatment--jail is not an option and what police now default to. People are NOT safer in jail as police argue.
-Increase funding dramatically for the Gordie Center to make sure that officers have proper training in how to respond to a Gordie call for help if rescue is not available.
-Tell UVA to allow access to body cam video from its own police department at UVA student trials so students can defend themselves.
-Tell UVA to provide ALL video related to this incident, including that which they have withheld in contradiction of a court subpoena.
-Tell UVA and Albemarle County that people should be allowed phone calls from the jail holding area when requested, whether sober or not. Measures can be taken to ensure officer safety. Currently no policy exists for phone calls on the law enforcement side.
-Tell UVA you want easy-to-find and follow help from the University for addressing events like this, and prompt action taken and investigations made by UVA staff free from conflict of interest.
-Tell UVA that you want infrastructure created for, and police trained in, community policing. Police should be working with the community and coming up with creative solutions, not throwing people in jail and putting a stain on their future.
-Tell UVA that you want transparency, timely data, and community oversight of the University Police Department. UVA can be the second force in VA after Virginia Beach to have citizen oversight. Check out their website to see the contrast with UVA UPD. Currently there is NO accountability and serious conflicts of interest. Police investigate themselves and found no problem pre-arrest with a call for medical care ending in an arrest that endangered Jessie's life.
Jessie and Audrey’s story on video: https://vimeo.com/241049328
What happened to Jessie could happen to you (or your child, parents). In 2016, 599 people were picked by UVA Police and referred for disciplinary action and another 54 arrested (almost all UVA first and second years) on alcohol charges. Most were taken to the hospital and charges dropped, but mishandling of just a few cases could be fatal. Police could also fail to respond properly to a condition they mistake for intoxication as they are inured to alcohol calls and treat them as second-class requests. Let's make the UVA UPD and the UVA Hospital the leaders you'd expect from a school like ours.
Pls sign our petition (if you are UVA affiliated, please note in comment box when submitting), email or call UVA President Sullivan (firstname.lastname@example.org), and join our Justice 911 Facebook group (raw video is there): https://www.facebook.com/groups/122672575081522
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