7 Arrested After Police Raid Sit-in Against Hopkins Private Police

In the early morning hours of Wednesday, May 8, Baltimore police officers arrested seven protesters taking part in a month long sit-in at Garland Hall against Johns Hopkins University’s $1.5 million ICE contracts and newly-authorized private police force.

The university had warned protesters they were subject to arrest after they took over and chained themselves to the building on May 1. Just days earlier, activist Tawanda Jones, whose brother was killed by police in 2013, was threatened with legal action over her participation in the protests (https://therealnews.com/columns/baltimore-activist-threatened-with-legal-action-over-participation-in-hopkins-protests). In a statement, the university cited “grave concerns about the unsafe circumstances in and around Garland Hall and followed multiple offers of amnesty from university officials and warnings from the police if the protesters left the building.”

But protesters argued the university’s actions put vulnerable populations and students, faculty, and community members of color at risk. The protest received support from a number of groups, including a statement from the Homewood Faculty Assembly on April 8 which called on the university to withdraw its plans for an armed private police force.

Protesters also note that university officials gave $16,000 to disgraced now-former mayor Catherine Pugh before she backed the bill that created the armed private police force. The donations were first reported by The Baltimore Brew.

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Jaisal is currently the Democracy Initiative Manager at the Solutions Journalism Network and is a former TRNN host, producer, and reporter. He mainly grew up in the Baltimore area and studied modern history at the University of Maryland, College Park. Before joining TRNN, he contributed print, radio, and TV reports to Free Speech Radio News, Democracy Now! and The Indypendent. Jaisal's mother has taught in the Baltimore City Public School system for the past 25 years. Follow him on Twitter @jaisalnoor.