Colorado Springs, Colorado 2021-02-12 00:00:00 –
Student leaders at the University of Colorado in Colorado Springs tell Colorado Springs police chief Vinsniski how officials in his department protested racial justice last summer caused by the killing of a black man by the Minneapolis police. I’m asking for an apology for what I’ve done.
Protesters at the rally (estimated to include hundreds of UCSS students) were exposed to tear gas and shot with rubber bullets, some in need of emergency medical care.
“The police were undoubtedly invaders, and it was wrong to make them brutal in protest of their atrocities,” said Nicholas St. John, President pro tempore of the Students’ Union.
With 13 people agreeing and two abstaining, members of the campus’s best student leadership group voted no confidence in Niski on Thursday. Students also abstained and voted 14-0 in support of the Black Lives Matter movement.
“Last summer’s actions were abominable and I think they clearly proved the need for another authority,” said Aidan Clark, a member of the Students’ Union.
St. John, who participated in an eight-night protest in downtown Colorado Springs last May and June, claims police were targeting non-white protesters.
“They started shooting rubber bullets just because people were on public roads,” he said. “I wasn’t shot, but the people to my left and right were shot. I’m white, but I’m not.
“Last year, police said they did a terrible job in responding to protests.”
Police spokesman Lieutenant James Sokolik refused to comment on the student’s vote.
At a press conference on June 2, Niski said he shared the anger of demonstrators over the death of George Floyd. While saying the local protests were “almost peaceful,” Niski said police officers threw stones and bottles, launched large explosive fireworks, fired on armored vehicles, and other “violence.” I blamed the illegal acts that occurred, such as “acts”. unacceptable. “
“We go out every night to ensure that protesters are protected when exercising their rights, but what we don’t do is damage to public property and harm to others. “Niski said at the time.
UCCS students did not reach the point of demanding Niski’s dismissal, but St. John said the motion of no confidence essentially sent the message.
The Students’ Union’s proposal to dismiss Niski two weeks ago was not approved.
The Black Lives Matter resolution passed on Thursday was a rewritten version of the previous meeting. The students said they supported the intention, but wanted more time to tweak the message.
Thursday’s resolution in support of the Black Lives Matter movement also “condemned the violent response” by Colorado Springs police. Campus police officers were not involved in responding to the protest, but are sworn state-certified police officers.
“UCCS black, indigenous and colored students should feel welcome and safe in Colorado Springs and the campus and should not be threatened by the presence of police on campus or in surrounding cities.” Asked the university administrator to join the students. In condemning police officers for “violent and gross abuse of power used to attack peaceful protesters.”
Among the actions students want to see are the city’s new law enforcement transparency and accountability committee members being elected by the general public and not appointed by the city council, and empowering the committee to dismiss police officers. May be
The city council formed a group in July last year to make policy recommendations to the city council, the mayor and the police.
St. John, a PhD candidate in physics, said the group appeared “toothless” and members were not authorized to investigate police.
The prime minister, mayor, police and city council will receive a copy of the newly approved resolution, St. John said.
It is unclear whether UCCS staff will assist students. Campus spokesman Jared Berner did not comment Thursday night.
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