Investigation clears Loyola of 'racial profiling' allegations
An independent investigation has determined that Loyola University campus security officers did not racially profile or use excessive force while detaining ticket scalpers at a basketball game.
The school came under fire earlier this year after protesters accused campus police of "racial profiling" for confronting two individuals who appeared to be reselling tickets to a basketball game.
The two students, Alan Campbell and Paloma Fernandez, filed a federal lawsuit against the university in March alleging that their civil rights were violated during their detainment by campus security.
The lawsuit claims that Campbell and Fernandez “feared for their safety and each other’s safety at the hands of Loyola’s Campus Safety officers, directed by Loyola’s administration, while exercising their right to freedom of speech, expression, and assembly.”
“Plaintiffs were also denied their rights because of their races and colors, among other things, to express free speech on Loyola’s campus,” the lawsuit adds.
In support of the pair, Loyola students published a Change.org petition demanding that there be “no police or university repercussions” against either Campbell or Fernandez, which has garnered more than 2,000 signatures.
According to The Phoenix, a private firm hired by the school to investigate the incident issued a 162-page report Tuesday revealing its determination that no racial profiling occurred when the two men were stopped and searched by security officers.
The firm, Hillard Heintze, also concluded that there was no use of excessive force during the interaction with Campbell, though investigators did conclude that security officers used “inappropriate control techniques” during their contact with Fernandez.
“The task force was charged with overseeing the investigation, reviewing the report, and developing a series of recommendations to be sent directly to the President,” Loyola said in a statement. “Those recommendations, generated by the task force, along with the report, have been received and are currently being reviewed by the President and university leadership.”
Some of the recommendations issued in the 162-page report include body cameras for security officers and increased training measures, The Phoenix reported.
“We deeply appreciate the contributions of everyone involved in the investigation, report review, and development of the recommendations,” the university statement continued. “Our goal remains focused on building a campus of inclusion, safety, and diversity.”
“These actions represent the first of what we believe will be many steps we undertake to create an inclusive community that reflects our Jesuit ideals of justice, diversity, and civil discourse,” the school concluded.
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