Sunday, March 3, 2024

Letter to the Editor: Response to student arrest by UDPD

OpinionLetter to the EditorLetter to the Editor: Response to student arrest by UDPD

My name is William Herron, a freshman here at the university. I am writing in response to the Aug. 28 article,“Student arrest sparks tension between university and Christina School District,” by Risha Inaganti. I would like to express my concern over the recent actions of the university police as stated in said article.

It is important to first understand the underlying issue with university police. They have shown in recent times that they are willing to overstep their authority and strictly enforce any minor infractions. This imbalance of power is dangerous not only to the students but to the reputation of the university. 

In the case of Mohammed Sanogo’s arrest, it is obvious that the university police disregarded their duties and jurisdiction. Their presence at the graduation ceremony was for keeping peace. It is not at all appropriate for them to have chased down Sanogo and yanked him from his car for an accidental wheel screech while leaving, as they instructed. Arresting someone for a minor infraction like this sets a terrible precedent for the university police and may lead to unease among those on campus. It also creates distrust between the university and the surrounding school districts, as they become wary of the police and their ability to effectively keep the peace.

It is equally obvious that the department knew that what they did was wrong. The clear attempts to hide evidence and Police Chief Patrick Ogden’s revelations make it obvious that from the start, the university police were looking to cover up an injustice. 

I want to reiterate my concern over the recent actions undertaken by university police. I ask that, for the safety of students and visitors, actions are taken by the university to ensure that nothing like this happens again.

William Herron is a chemical engineering major at the university. William can be reached at wherron@udel.edu.

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