UConn Police Union Defends Officers Against Allegations of Protester Mistreatment

The University of Connecticut police union is responding to allegations that officers harmed pro-Palestinian demonstrators during a crackdown on an encampment. The Connecticut Police & Fire Union, which represents UConn police, said the claims made by a different union in a letter to school leaders were unfair and attacked the officers for doing their jobs. The union’s president, Kevin C. Saunders, stated that key facts were missing from the letter and that the UConn Police Department members were being unfairly targeted.

The American Association of University Professors and the UConn Graduate Employee & Postdoc Union wrote a letter to UConn President Radenka Maric condemning the university’s decision to involve the police in taking down the encampment. They called for the dismissal of charges against arrested students and criticized the police for being aggressive with protesters who, they claimed, were injured during the confrontation. The police union pushed back against these claims and urged the State Employees Bargaining Agent Coalition (SEBAC), which includes the professor’s union, to support the police officers they represent.

The UConn demonstrations took place amid a series of anti-Israel protests on U.S. college campuses following Israel’s conflict with Hamas. In a letter published in the university newspaper, UConn leaders noted their support for the freedom of speech and peaceful assembly but emphasized that some students had refused to vacate the unauthorized encampment after repeated warnings.

The police union emphasized that claims of mistreatment of protestors were unacceptable and unnecessary and contribute to the anti-police movement prevalent across the country. They highlighted the impact of the continued anti-police sentiment on department morale and officer turnover, not only at UConn but also at other law enforcement agencies in Connecticut and the nation.

Written by Staff Reports

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