New York City – A movement is underway to ban New York Police Department officers from the campus of Brooklyn University because students may feel unsafe in the presence of a cop.
The university has already banned police officers from using the bathroom at any campus location except for one bathroom at the far end of campus, which students have described as unfit for use, according to The New York Post.
Police officers are outraged.
A petition was drafted to Brooklyn University President Michelle Anderson asking to ban all police officers from the taxpayer-funded campus, which is part of the City University of New York system.
The student told the school’s newspaper “that we do not want the NYPD on campus in any respect even if it’s just to take breaks and use bathroom.”
Donald Wenz, director of public safety for the university, told the student paper The Excelsior that he’s trying to keep police officers out of sight.
Another unidentified university spokesman said that any use of Brooklyn University facilities is “a courtesy” to officers.
Wenz said that while the university’s bathrooms were open to police officers, that the university “preferred” that they use the bathroom at the isolated West End Building, “rather than walking across either quad to use the bathroom,” because students may think there’s an emergency if they see an officer on campus.
Students told the New York Post that the bathroom Wenz has designated for the law enforcement officers was not fit to be used.
Reporters from the newspaper went to the University to investigate the West End bathroom, located next to the athletic field, and past the tennis courts.
They found a broken toilet with a “hideously” stained seat, and an “OUT OF ORDER” sign taped to the door of its stall. There was no soap or paper towels.
One student described that bathroom as “horrendous,” and said that only one of the three sinks actually works.
Some students at the university support the petition.
A 21-year-old senior said that people “get triggered” by police officers.
“I know students from every background and across every major. They don’t feel comfortable around cops. They just don’t. It makes safe spaces feel not so safe,” they said.
Another student, a 20-year-old psychology major, said that seeing officers on campus was “weird … Your first instinct is to be scared.”
The response by police officers who patrol the neighborhood around Brooklyn University was outrage.
“It’s not like we’re invading their campus,” one officer said.
Another police officer said. “We’re only going there to use the bathroom.”
NYPD sergeants-union chief Ed Mullins had a response to the university’s hostility against police officers,
“Maybe it’s time these students, who fail to recognize the value of those protecting them, go take classes abroad — where they can have their bathrooms all to themselves,” Mullins said.
Student-body President Nissim Said said that the reason behind the petition and the anti-police sentiment stemmed from the NYPD’s previous special operation to send an officer undercover among Muslim students in search of Islamic terrorists.
That undercover officer helped federal agents arrest two Queens women in 2015 for stockpiled tanks of propane gas they planned to have used for an ISIS-inspired attack on New York City.
NYPD police officers have no choice but to access the university’s campus, where they have full jurisdiction, when they are responding to a call.
Do you think that officers should be restricted from accessing any place that’s open to the public? We’d like to hear what you think. Please let us know in the comments.