Northwestern students clash with cops in call to defund campus police department

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A protest erupted Saturday in Evanston, Ill., that included about 150 protesters who called for Northwestern University to abolish the campus’ police department, reports said.

The city’s police said in a statement that protesters marched into downtown Evanston and some hurled “rocks and bricks at police officers.” Police said protesters pointed lasers at police officers’ eyes and used umbrellas to hide individuals who were damaging property.

“We allowed them to do peaceful assembly and we would have let it ride until they turned to violence with bricks,” Demetrius Cook, the city’s police chief, told The report said one student was arrested and officers deployed pepper spray.

Northwestern president Morton Schapiro in a past statement acknowledged student concerns about injustice, but said the university has no intention of dissolving its police department. Schapiro has also claimed demonstrators have tried to provoke university police, calling the protests an “abomination,” and adding the protesters should be ashamed of themselves.

The police statement read, “One officer from the Northern Illinois Police Alarm System (NIPAS), which was called in to assist, was injured and transported to a local hospital with an eye injury from a firework. One arrest was made of a female Northwestern student who hit a police officer. There have been 18 reports of criminal damage to property.”

A group called ‘NU Community Not Cops’ said it “unequivocally condemned the police brutality on display last night.”


“Last night proved once again that it is heavily armed, militarized police who create and escalate violence,” the statement read, according to WGNTV. “As NU Community not Cops has long argued, and as we unfortunately saw on display last evening, the police do not, and never will, keep us safe.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report

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