Xavier students outraged after allegedly being pepper sprayed by campus police inside locked cafe
Students of Xavier University in New Orleans cried out in anger after they were allegedly locked in a café and pepper sprayed by campus police.
College students were attending the annual midnight breakfast event on December 3 when things turned ugly quickly. Some of them told WWL-TV that cafeteria workers were not happy that some dishes were left on the table and called for campus police.
Panic broke out after students realized the police officers were locking them inside the cafeteria, but they were told it was so they could “clean up their mess.”
Xavier University Freshman, Bianca Houser told WDSU:
“I was shocked. I was, like, let me get out of here. How do I get out of here? Trying to find exits and everything.”
The students soon found a back exit, but as they all tried to dash, the officers pepper sprayed them.
One student, who witnessed the horrific incident and preferred to remain anonymous, wrote to WDSU News, saying:
“I watched my friend scream that he couldn’t breathe and his eyes were burning all while his face was bloodshot red. The officer’s response was to put him in handcuffs as if he was a threat and keep the cuffs on him as he yelled out in pain.”
Xavier University President Dr. Reynold Verret, sent out a statement on December 5, declaring that the officers’ actions “do not reflect the core values of our university and are unacceptable.”
Verret also revealed that the two officers involved in the incident had been fired and removed from campus. The Director of Public Safety, Jacques S. Battiste has also turned in his resignation.
The College VP for student affairs, Curtis Wright, also echoed Verret’s stand in a listening session held with the students. Wright said:
“I want to make an apology for what you witnessed, what some of you experienced and what some of you have heard about. This is not who we are, and this is not what we are about.”
Meanwhile, another first-year student, T.J. Moreno, told Fox 8 that the issue went beyond firing the two offending police officers.
“I wish that I could feel safe, and I feel like in order for that to happen there has to be more than just, 'Oh, yeah, we fired the two that you saw,’” she said.
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