Dear President Napolitano,
We, the ACLU Yolo County Chapter would like to voice our complete support of the recommendations proposed in regards to UC Policing. Our organization takes the safety of people of color, especially Black folks, who are disproportionately victims of police violence, extremely seriously. The UC campuses must ensure that all students feel safe on campus, and the only way to achieve this is through the policy recommendations, and plan outlined. Young people should not be made to feel unsafe and afraid on their own college campuses simply because of the color of their skin. Meeting these crucial recommendations will make the UC campus more of the safe haven which it must aspire to be for students of all creeds. Police, especially those who are armed, play a large role in perpetrating violence against Black students on college campuses across the nation. This needs to end, enough is enough. The UC has a decorated history of being a liberal and progressive institution, and it must hold close to these values by ensuring the safety and peace of all students.
Our supports stand with the recommendations proposed by Kum-Kum Bhavnani, and the UC Academic Senate:
1) Substantially defund general campus police and redistribute those resources to the study and development of alternative modes of campus safety that minimize and/or abolish the reliance on policing and other criminalizing responses.
2) Invest in resources that promote mental and physical wellbeing of the campus community, specifically support services for Black students as well as for other marginalized student groups who have been historically targeted by police violence.
3) Ban firearms as standard equipment for police on the general campus.
4) Dissolve any existing partnership or cooperation agreements with non-UC law enforcement agencies and terminate any agreements to allow non-UC law enforcement agencies access to campus facilities or property.
5) Assemble groups at both the campus and systemwide level to discuss these recommendations and how to begin implementing them within a three-year period. In doing so, these groups should prioritize the participation of those who have traditionally experienced violence and mistreatment at the hands of police. Similar steps should also be considered at the health campuses to address the policing issues identified above, recognizing the higher security needs in these environments.
Implementation of these policies and action items will ensure that the UC is moving in the direction of defunding and de-policing its college campuses, which is so long overdue. Our organization hopes that you will seriously consider our recommendation, and that you will take appropriate action.
ACLU Yolo County Chapter
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