Brooklyn College says it is starting an effort to keep New York police “out of sight” after some students spotted members of law enforcement using public restrooms on campus and were triggered by their presence.
According to the New York Post, BC has asked that officers refrain from using the school’s facilities, and walk around the campus rather than across the school’s two quads, after they received complaints that students were uneasy at the thought of being in the mere presence of the NYPD.
Students at the school even circulated a petition asking administrators to keep cops “out of sight” during school hours.
School officials say they aren’t banning the NYPD per se, but that seems to be the case only because the school is located within the NYPD’s enforcement zone, and public streets run in and around the school. The NYPD also serves as the school’s primary law enforcement branch, helping to ensure students’ safety while they attend classes.
It also isn’t what the students want. According to the petition, the “concerned” BC attendees want the cops to keep a safe distance from students at all times, lest those students with qualms about racial injustices allegedly perpetrated by law enforcement be unfairly “triggered.”
“We do not want the NYPD on campus in any respect even if it’s just to … use the bathroom,” one student told the Post. Another added that Brooklyn College students simply “don’t feel comfortable around cops” and that cops make “safe spaces feel not so safe.”
The new policy stems, it seems, from a school-sponsored event held last week where students watched the social justice-oriented documentary film, “Watched,” about the NYPD’s efforts to surveil suspected terrorist enclaves operating within the city. After students viewed the movie, they were asked whether the NYPD’s presence on campus now made them uncomfortable.
Unsurprisingly, the majority of students say they “disagreed” with having the NYPD protect students.
The cops were, of course, not pleased with the development. The only bathroom they are now allowed to use, on the west end of campus, is “decrepit.” The head of the NYPD sergeants union told the Post that students simply don’t recognize what the NYPD does to keep students safe.
“Maybe it’s time these students, who fail to recognize the value of those protecting them, go take classes abroad — where they can have their bathrooms all to themselves,” he said.
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