Several Protesters Arrested In Johns Hopkins Demonstration Over Police Force

Neetu Chandak | Education and Politics Reporter

Baltimore police arrested several activists who locked down a Johns Hopkins University building in protest of the school’s private police force and its contract with Immigration and Customs Enforcement on Wednesday.

At least seven people were arrested, The Baltimore Sun reported. Some were students enrolled at the school and others were community members.

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Protesters had held sit-ins at Garland Hall, JHU’s main administration building, since April 3, but the situation escalated when they chained doors and covered security cameras in May.

University staff were allegedly harassed and intimidated during the course of the protest, JHU said in a Friday message. (RELATED: Catherine Pugh Campaign Donors Want Their Money Back Following Kids’ Book Fiasco)

JHU requested the city police, assisted by the Baltimore City Fire Department, to end the occupation at 4:51 a.m. Wednesday.

“The university’s request for assistance was based on grave concerns about the unsafe circumstances in and around Garland Hall and followed multiple offers of amnesty from university officials and warnings from the police if the protesters left the building,” the statement said.

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Garland Hall houses financial information for university students and families, student disability assistance and paying student workers, among other services.

Student workers initially could not pick up their checks due to the demonstration, and several exams were postponed because students with disabilities use the building for testing accommodations, the Sun reported.

“We had hoped to find a constructive means to resolve this increasingly dangerous situation, and we are disappointed that the decisions of the protesters necessitated a law enforcement response,” JHU said in a statement.

The Baltimore State’s Attorney’s Office said it will not prosecute those who were arrested.

The Maryland General Assembly approved JHU to have a private police force, separate from Baltimore, that could have up to 100 officers in April. While many public universities in Maryland had their own police forces, JHU as a private university was not allowed to have its own, according to the Sun.

The Baltimore Police Department could not be reached for comment.

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Tags : baltimore immigration and customs enforcement johns hopkins university
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