POLICE

Student advocates call for U of U campus police to be abolished, point to mishandling of Lauren McCLuskey case

Aug 6, 2020, 8:41 PM
campus police...
(Some of the signs held by students outside U of U DPS. Credit: Paul Nelson)
(Some of the signs held by students outside U of U DPS. Credit: Paul Nelson)

SALT LAKE CITY– A group University of Utah students want to do away with the campus police department.  They held a small protest saying yesterday’s report about sexually explicit pictures of Lauren McCluskey proves the department has serious problems.

(Signs saying “We Don’t Trust U” posted at U of U DPS. Credit: Paul Nelson)

Students painted dozens of signs with the phrase “We Don’t Trust U” and posted them to the doors of the University of Utah Public Safety Building sparked by anger over how a U of U Police officer reportedly handled pictures that were being used to extort McCluskey. 

U students question the thoroughness of investigation 

Rebecca Hardenbrook with the group Unsafe U said McCluskey’s case was handled badly by campus police from the very beginning.

“They weren’t really looking into all of the things they needed to.  It wasn’t a thorough investigation,” said Hardenbrook. 

Hardenbrook doesn’t believe a statement from Police Chief Rodney Chatman, calling the comments made by officers as “unprofessional,” goes far enough. 

Their group wants to abolish the campus police department and for the school to be placed under a different jurisdiction.

“We’re advocating it would be Salt Lake PD, but that the university would make a sort of deal with them that they would be essentially non-existent on our campus unless there was the worst sort of situation,” she said.

Chief Chatman greeted the students as he left the department building.  He said even though the group has harsh words for him and his staff, he’s encouraged that they’re at least speaking with him. Chatman said the worst thing would be no communication, at all.

“I think the worst thing that could happen is if students feel this way and they don’t feel as though they could talk to us,” he said.

Chatman acknowledges the handling of the McCluskey case has done a lot of damage to the department’s image and he’s working to rebuild the trust between the police and the student body.

“Once we start having those conversations, I firmly believe that a lot of that sentiment will dissipate when they see we’re really here for their safety and security,” said Chatman. 

Today’s Top Stories

Police

Michael Asman is pictured, he is the suspect in a Heber murder...
Randall Jeppesen

Suspect in Heber murder found dead, police say

A man suspected of committing a Heber murder last month was just found dead in Oregon. The medical examiner will confirm his cause of death.
17 hours ago
Utah County Sheriff's Office...
Mark Jones

Utah County authorities looking for woman involved in domestic violence incident

Authorities in Utah County are looking for a 21-year-old woman after a domestic violence Sunday. Police say the woman threatened her ex-boyfriend and their child.
2 days ago
salt lake city police south temple gas scare...
Devin Oldroyd

SLCPD activate OICI following the death of a suspect in police custody

SLCPD has activated and OICI following the death of a suspect while in police custody.
3 days ago
Three people are being charged after they staged a kidnapping in West Valley....
Devin Oldroyd

Three people charged after staged kidnapping for YouTube video, police say

Three people are being charged with disorderly conduct after they conducted a staged kidnapping in West Valley on Saturday.
3 days ago
Police say, missing 43-year-old Stanton Porter was found deceased in a shed on his family's propert...
Devin Oldroyd

UPDATE: Family of missing Stanton Porter releases statement regarding his death

Police say, missing 43-year-old Stanton Porter was found deceased in a shed on his family's property.
3 days ago
Photo of the crash that happened early Saturday morning in Tooele County (Photo courtesy of Utah De...
Mark Jackson

One dead in early Saturday crash on I-80

One person is dead following a fatal crash Saturday morning. Utah High Patrol says they got a call about 3:36 a.m. Saturday, August 13, 2022 of a crash that involved a Genesis passenger car and a pick-up truck.
4 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Student advocates call for U of U campus police to be abolished, point to mishandling of Lauren McCLuskey case