An arrest last thursday of a black student at the University of Wisconsin-Madison has prompted a lot of controversy among faculty and students. According to Inside Higher Ed, the student was arrested for allegedly spray painting anti-racist graffiti on campus, The graffiti may have been a response to the many racist acts that have been occurring on campus. This soon resulted in many faculty and students claiming that the campus police seemed to care more about this graffiti then the acts that hurt many minority students.
Many claimed that the way that the campus police arrested him was unprofessional. They had apparently arrested him during his Afro-American Studies class and the professor claimed that they were aggressive and came in with "bulletproof vests and guns." The University disagreed, claiming that the arrest was calm and professional and they have proof through videos. Many are upset that the acts that are getting the attention from the police are acts that were against many hateful events that had happened on campus earlier. Some of these events included swastikas taped onto jewish students doors, a racist note delivered to an young African American woman, and students yelling war cry noises at a native american gathering on campus.
There are some positive results occurring because of all of the negative backlash from the arrest. The campus police chief released a statement claiming that the officers believed that the class had not started yet and apologized for their behavior. The University itself is making some changes to combat the negative events that have been occurring. One of these changes includes a new cultural competency experience for incoming students that will debut in Fall 2016.
Picture Credits: Phil Roeder // Flickr.com