DENVER – The American Civil Liberties Union sent a demand letter today to Colorado State University urging the university to amend its campus police policies and training requirements following a racial profiling incident this spring.
On April 30, 2018, Kanewakeron Thomas Gray and Skanahwati Lloyd Gray, two Native American brothers touring Colorado State University, were racially profiled by another member of the admissions tour. Employees of the CSU police department detained, questioned and searched the Grays although they were never suspected of a specific crime. The brazen violation of the Grays’ Constitutional rights was rooted in the report of suspicion based only on their appearance.
“My boys were publicly humiliated and told that their looks alone make them suspicious characters. As a mother, I was horrified to hear they were pulled away from a CSU tour because of someone’s misplaced and racially motivated fears,” said Lorraine Kahneratokwas Gray, whose family is represented by the ACLU. “We are all disappointed, not only with CSU’s meager response, but also with their false promises to right this wrong. I hope they fix these policies, so other parents do not have to wonder if their children will be safe and welcomed on campus.”
The ACLU urges the CSU police department to implement additional trainings and adopt specific policies addressing dispatcher and officer responses to bias-based reports.
In response to the rampant cases of racial profiling on college campuses, including college staff calling police on a Smith College student for sitting on a sofa on campus, the ACLU is expanding upon its policy recommendations to CSU and plans to launch a full-scale ‘Living While Black on Campus” campaign. The campaign will be geared towards campuses that operate their own police and security forces, providing model policies for administrators and toolkits and resources for students who wish to advocate for change.
Read the ACLU letter: https://aclu-co.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/9_20_18-CSU-letter-re-Gray-brothers.pdf