RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — Dozens of students from several different organizations at N.C. State University are not happy with Raleigh Police Department’s presence on campus and now they’re joining together to make a change.
A petition created by a coalition of black organizations at N.C. State calls for the school to cut ties with Raleigh police, garnering nearly 4,000 supporters in 48 hours.
Brianna Harvey and Jalen Rose represent two of the nine organizations behind the petition.
Harvey is vice president of the school’s NAACP chapter while Rose is a staff writer with the Nubian Message, N.C. State’s black student newspaper.
There are 12 demands including:
- demanding that the university cuts its current ties with the Raleigh Police Department and create a new detailed protocol for when to contract with the RPD to participate in campus activities.
- Asking university police to not contract with any RPD officers with excessive force records
- Annual cultural, diversity and de-escalation training for campus police
- A public database for students to report excessive force and racial discrimination carried out by police
- The creation of mental health and sexual assault task forces among others
“I know especially for students like me who have had interactions with police on campus that haven’t always necessarily been positive, it would definitely help us feel better if some of these situations were resolved. We knew this was the time to make these demands to actually see change come out of it,” said Harvey.
Rose says Chancellor Randy Woodson has reached out to the organizations in hopes of scheduling a meeting.
The chancellor sent them an email saying in part, “Thank you for clearly expressing your demands. I hope we can work together to improve the state of policing at N.C. State”
Chief Daniel House says the N.C. State Police Department has a mutual aid agreement with Raleigh police and other agencies on cases where outside support is needed, like a bomb threat or this week’s shooting, but also says that his department is independent.
House says he is scheduling a town hall meeting with the campus community in the next few weeks to further address these concerns.
The students are optimistic that this traction will led to concrete change on campus.
“It’s gonna take a lot of conversations that aren’t easy but they’re conversations that need to be had. We have to show them exactly what we mean and why we feel this way or else they’re not gonna take us seriously and listen to what we need,” said Rose.
The students are also asking for school leaders to provide monthly check-ins on the progress being made on these demands. They say if their concerns are not addressed in a timely manner, another petition or even some protests may take place in the future.