As protesters and citizens across the nation await the final verdict in the Michael Brown trial in Ferguson, students at the University of Maryland College Park also assembled in hopes of raising awareness about the new military weaponry given to the University of Maryland Police Department.
UMD sophomore students and protesters, Chris Bangert-Drowns and Nate Hansell also raised campus awareness through flyers distributed at the Main Administration building.
According to the flyer titled: “The Social Justice Coalition Against UMD Militarization,” The University of Maryland (along with Coppin State University and Morgan State University) are now a part of the Pentagon’s 1033 Program aiming too provide low cost military weapons to campus police officers.
Some of the weapons include:
- 49 M-16 Assault Rifles
- 16 12-gauge shotguns
- 1 $65,000 armored truck
The protest began at the Adele H. Stamp Student Union at approximately 12 p.m. and was led by Freshman Julian Ivey and Sophomore Curtis Dickens who condemned the University of Maryland police’s use of these dangerous weapons.
Ivey and Dickens gathered a group of roughly 20-30 students who traveled from the Stamp to Mckeldin Mall and the Main Administration building, where they eventually approached David Mitchell, the Chief of UMPD, reading a list of demands. The list of demands of UMPD were read by Ivey, Dickens and senior Tiara Ettison in the main lobby of the Administration building.
Here is the audio recording:
Later, Protester Chris Brangert-Drowns shares his thoughts on the protest.
Both the University of Maryland Police Department and University President Wallace Loh have declined to comment on the protest.
Stay tuned to our Twitter pages for more information about the future of the protests: