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Forum focuses on U crime, profiling

Administrators and students talked about crime on campus and the risks of racial profiling at a forum Wednesday.
At the Campus Crime and Public Safety Forum, attendees and panelists discuss public safety and the potential for racial profiling on Wednesday night at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs.
Image by Cole Feagler
At the Campus Crime and Public Safety Forum, attendees and panelists discuss public safety and the potential for racial profiling on Wednesday night at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs.

Three University of Minnesota administrators and Black Men’s Forum president Ian Taylor Jr., led a discussion Wednesday night regarding expectations of police, University policy and how to improve the experience of the black community on campus.

Once the forum opened up for questions, some audience members said they have experienced racial profiling from police around campus.

Taylor and some audience members said black people may feel unsafe or uncomfortable in public because many crime alerts describe suspects as black men with few other details.

“We’re very satisfied with the steps that have just begun to take place, but we recognize that there’s a lot more that we need to do collectively,” Taylor told reporters before the forum.

Increasing patrols around campus doesn’t always make black male students feel safe, Taylor said, adding public safety initiatives should include ways to improve mental safety.

Vice president for equity and diversity Katrice Albert said most crime alerts in recent months have described the suspects as black men, which has some feeling uneasy.

“People of color are very concerned that they’re being looked at … in a very different way, so that’s biased,” she said to reporters.

Vice President of University Services Pam Wheelock said in her time at the University, nobody has filed a report of racial profiling.

But Black Faculty and Staff Association president Alysia Lajune said administrators shouldn’t need an official report to acknowledge that racial profiling happens on campus.

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