Santa Barbara, CA – The University of California Santa Barbara Associated Student Senate just unanimously voted to disarm campus police.
The measure was passed on February 27th after receiving support from students across campus. According to the bill, having armed law enforcement officials on campus is both “bad for student mental health,” and causes student to live in “perpetual fear and tension.”
The author of the bill, Ricardo Uribe, said that it was unnecessary for officers to carry guns because they should never have to resort to using a weapon on a student.
“There are a lot of non-lethal ways that a police officer can make sure that a situation doesn’t escalate,” he said. “It should never get to the point where a trained officer has to use their weapon in any sort of capacity to a student.”
But what if an active shooter is attacking people on university grounds? Regardless of whether a student or an outsider is committing the violence, authorities would be the ones engaging and neutralizing the suspect.
But Uribe reasoned that lethal force should still not be utilized, even in situations that would typically warrant it.
On Wednesday, the Associated Students Senate unanimously passed a resolution calling for the UC Santa Barbara administration to disarm its campus police of all “lethal and military-grade hardware,” as stated in the resolution.https://t.co/y9T4yct1k2
— Daily Nexus (@dailynexus) March 4, 2019
“There is no reason why police shouldn’t just use non-lethal tactics to stop active shooters or similar threats on campus,” said Uribe.
Yes. You read correctly. These students claim that officers engaging armed suspects that are literally shooting people should resort to non-lethal means. Something tells us Uribe has never fired a gun or been in any sort of situation that requires running toward certain danger.
In order to make their point, the students cited incidents from the Isla Vista riots back in 1970. Nearly 50 years ago…
UC student Ivana Cruz stated that during the 1970 riots, a student walking home from a liquor store was reportedly “violently arrested because the police mistook his handle for a Molotov cocktail.”
They argued that student events and parties are often prone to ‘over-policing’, specifically noting the Halloween celebration that takes place in the off campus student community, Isla Vista. Five years ago, six students were killed in the same are by a 22-year-old on a rampage.
So are students actually concerned with their wellbeing when cops are around? Or are they just looking for an excuse to get away with parties?
Uribe took the argument a step further to talk about intervening in police business.
“It shouldn’t have to be the work of untrained civilians to de-escalate the situation,” Uribe added.
Ricardo, you couldn’t be more correct in this statement.
You are untrained. You are a civilian. You have no business getting involved in a situation that police are handling.
So how do these students envision a way for police to properly protect and serve the campus and surrounding areas?
They’re not sure.