On September 21, Black Lives Matter activists took part in a protest on Oregon’s Portland State campus in hopes of securing a policy change that will disarm police on the university campus.
PSU decided to arm police officers in December 2014 after realizing the school could not sufficiently respond to a shooting on campus otherwise, should one occur.
According to Fox 12, the Black Lives Matter protesters “gathered to disrupt PSU’s welcoming ceremony [for freshmen] in an effort to show how unhappy they are about the decision.” They then moved the protest outside with chants of “Disarm PSU” and “Black Lives Matter.”
One student suggested Portland city officers offer enough protection to make arming officers on campus unnecessary. Mason Ashwill said, “We feel we would be much safer without them, especially with the Portland Police Bureau office main precinct being about five blocks away. So we don’t see no real reason for having guns on campus and it makes me feel a lot less safe.”
Ashwill also doubts claims that PSU police are being armed to “prevent sexual assault” or “take care of homeless people.”
It is interesting to note that the decision to have armed officers on campus came at the recommendation of a safety task force and the school pondered the recommendation for “18 months” before finally acting on it in December.
PSU plans to hire approximately 12 armed officers for campus “during the next three years.”
Follow AWR Hawkins on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.