U-Md. Students Call Attention to Racial Tensions

COLLEGE PARK, Md., A group of University of Maryland (U-Md.) students protested on Dec. 1 what they consider to be racial injustice by campus police.

The protest was in response to a Nov. 13 incident that occurred when the U-Md. Department of Public Safety responded to a noise complaint about a party involving approximately 100 mostly-black people at the Leonardtown apartments. Three men were arrested and charged with assault, resisting arrest and disorderly conduct. Two officers were treated for minor injuries.

Since that incident, the campus has been embroiled in a debate about race, equality and integration. Some students allege that during the Nov. 13 fracas, the officers behaved inappropriately, waving nightsticks, spraying pepper spray and waving their guns.

The Dec. 1 protesters marched across campus and demanded an apology from the police, an investigation and a pledge to end police brutality and racial profiling. They also insisted that all of the charges be dropped.

The students involved in the march said their primary purpose, however, was to focus attention on the racial tensions lying just beneath the surface.

University officials are planning a discussion scheduled to take place Dec. 7 that will cover cross-cultural interaction on campus.

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