Linda P.B. Katehi recently mentioned via email that she would like to hear about hate crimes occurring on our campus. To stop further hate crimes, I demand that she disband police patrols, stop student surveillance and fire Officer S.R. Terry.
The following occurred Thursday, March 6 between 7:15 p.m. and 9:00 p.m. on Orchard Park Road.
I heard shouting outside on the street. I went outside and saw two police cars and a police bicycle; five cops total. A Hispanic male student (whom we shall refer to as “C”) was being held in front of the nearest car with two police officers trying to question him. He was not cooperating and was shouting that his rights were being violated. He was demanding to speak to a lawyer, shouting for help. I later found out that he and his companion had been stopped because they were smoking Swisher Sweets, and Officer S.R. Terry allegedly smelled marijuana. Though even after a thorough search of both victims and the premises, it was not evident that any was actually found.
The other officers put C’s companion, an African Muslim student (whom we shall refer to as “P”), in the back of the second squad car and came over to help search C. They forced him onto the ground with his hands cuffed behind his back. He was shouting in pain, and they tasered him. He had five officers on top of him as they tried to remove his backpack, go through his pockets, and take his shoes. When he got up there was blood on the sidewalk from the police beating him to submission. They put him in the squad car, and waited until the fire department and an ambulance arrived.
Another passerby saw the incident and asked what was going on. He tried to talk to P but one of the cops said “It’s against the law to talk to prisoners,” and told him to leave. This is a lie and an abuse of police power to intimidate the public.
A medical examination was performed on C. The paramedics gave him a neck brace and put him on a stretcher; they moved him to the ambulance and drove away escorted by the first police car. The paramedics also wiped up the blood from the sidewalk. The second car stayed behind and the officers searched the area.
While P was in the car, I heard the bike cop S. R. Terry make several racial slurs including “He’s shouting jihad” (in reference to P speaking in Arabic). Eventually they let P out of the squad car and had him sign a citation for marijuana possession, even though he had none.
Two police officers approached me separately to ask if I had witnessed anything; I refused to speak to them.
The second car and the bike cop left with no sign of the injustice that had been committed except a small drop of blood that the paramedics missed.
With the law on their side, it seems like the police are entitled to do whatever they want. I feel powerless, I’m scared, and I don’t feel safe around the people who are supposedly here to protect and serve.