Mayhem erupts and students start battling police after campus closed for health concerns

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DAYTON, OH– On March 10th, the University of Dayton in Ohio announced they’ll be suspending all in-person classes beginning on March 11th .  They also said they would be shutting down all on-campus housing. This was apparently in response to concerns over the spread of COVID-19. 

While a reasonable precaution to protect students and faculty, what resulted from the school’s announcement was pure mayhem. 

Mere hours after the announcement was made, hundreds of students gathered around the campus, in what can be best described as a rebellious party.

School officials noted the congregation started out as “one last large gathering before spring break,” and was never meant to be any kind of protest. However, police had to get involved after the shenanigans went beyond just good times. 

Officers from multiple departments spread throughout the crowded area.

They were reported as being attired in riot gear, and using non-lethal crowd control means to get the students to disperse. Police reportedly used pepper balls, a chemical pellet that carries effects akin to pepper spray when deployed.

This was likely in response to the party-goers throwing bottles at police and jumping on vehicles, as described in a university statement.

Reports state that the crowd eventually broke up at around 2:15 a.m. on March 11th.

It’s a good thing that police were able to get the boisterous crowd under control. However, there are some college professors who think that there shouldn’t be a police force – at all. 

That’s the word with regard to one of Cambridge, Massachusetts most prestigious schools, at least. 

In news that should shock nobody, The Harvard Law School held a forum in February where the topic was the abolishment of American police forces.

Seriously.

Brooklyn College professor Alex Vitale spoke to students who attend the left-leaning law school about the potential benefits of eliminating police departments in America.

Our guess is that perhaps Vitale had at some time received a parking ticket that sent him over the edge. But we digress.

However one check of Vitale’s Twitter page is eye opening. This guy is a one trick, anti-cop, left-wing pony. 

Vitale is the coordinator of the Policing and Social Justice Project at Brooklyn College and also serves on the New York State Advisory Committee of the U.S. Commission on civil rights. Classic virtue signaling, social justice warrior resume right there. Oh, and he also advises various international human rights organizations and police departments.

The seminar was sponsored by Unbound: Harvard Journal of the Legal Left, and spoke about various challenges that are inherent in current police reform efforts.

Of course, Vitale was promoting his book “The End of Policing,” in which he talked about what he believes are the dangers of modern police tactics and where he suggested alternatives to the current police system.

He led off the talk by relating the story of Deborah Danner, a mentally ill woman who was fatally shot by a New York City police sergeant in 2016. Based on this one case, he questions the effectiveness of police training on mental health.

“The reality is that between a quarter and a half of all people killed by police in the United States are having a mental health crisis,” he said. “It’s the number one indicator of likelihood of ending up killed by police.”

Vitale produced no context to his numbers, nor any sources for his statistics. Clearly, the number one indicator of potentially getting killed by the police is being a criminal who is breaking the law and is probably armed.

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Murdered officer's grave desecrated before headstone even placed

Vitale also repeats the oft-spoken talking points of the left, claiming that police haven’t had any success in curbing drug addiction in the U.S.

He did not address the fact that in many cases, courts do not prosecute drug cases or mandate any type of treatment, just cutting drug offenders loose on the streets. The police can only do so much. Without the cooperation of all elements of the criminal justice system, their hands are tied.

Vitale said that the creation of harsh drug policies was done without any type of political accountability, and said that improved training, increasing gun control and “hiring a few black police chiefs” are not effective.

“In too many of our big cities, politicians who claim to be our friends—who come out on the picket line with us when someone is killed by the police—go back to City Hall and vote to hire more police instead of expanding community-based mental health service, instead of creating drug treatment on demand,” he continued.

A student who attended the event, Leighton Watson said that in order to seriously consider the proposal to abolish policing nationwide, it would first of all be necessary to require a clear, agreed-upon definition of what police abolition would look like.

“Defining what the scope of abolition actually is where are there are gaps,” the Law School student said. “For example, when one person means abolition—is that a complete end of what we call policing, or is there still some function in society, someone that responds to you with a gun?”

In his discussion, Vitale did acknowledge that it would be impossible to eradicate all police services at once. However, he maintained that there is a great need for systemic change.

“No one is talking about, ‘tomorrow we flip the switch and there are no police,’” he said. “The reality is we have a massive infrastructure of policing and criminalization, and we need strategies to get out of this mess, and those strategies do not include implicit bias training, community policing, body cameras, et cetera.”

Sharon I. Brett is a senior staff attorney at the Law School’s Criminal Justice Policy Program, said in an interview that trying to understand deep-rooted problems in the nation’s policing system is key in creating a better version of it.

“It’s important to think about this framework when we’re doing criminal justice reform work and, particularly, to think about the historical context of the institutions that we’re attempting to reform in order to understand whether or not they can be reformed.”

Oh my, we’re in deep trouble if these folks are shaping the minds of tomorrow. 

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