Mayor tells protesting Shaw students no Raleigh PD substation on campus

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Shaw students protest idea of campus substation.

Shaw University students protesting outside of city hall in Raleigh say they don't trust police and they don't want more officers on campus.

The protest was sparked by a recent request by university president Dr. Tashni-Ann Dubroy.

READ THE LETTER FROM SHAW TO RALEIGH'S MAYOR HERE (.pdf)

In the letter she wrote of concerns about crime in the area and about wanting to increase police visibility with a possible substation on campus.

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"The exploratory letter is really much more than a police substation, it's about community and police engagement, it's understanding that we have no reason to fear the police," Dubroy said.

The idea isn't sitting well with all students so they went to Tuesday night's city council meeting to ask city leaders to reject the idea.

"Shaw students are afraid of police," said Essence Shelton, a junior at Shaw and member of the HBCU Student Action Alliance, "for us, more police does not equal more safety."

The conversation of police relationships with students quickly turned into a community issue during public comment at the meeting. Nine others with PACT, Police Accountability Community Taskforce, took turns at the podium to express anger and to accuse city leaders of not doing enough to improve police relationships with the community. Some yelled at the council, others read poems and even sang songs.

At the end, Mayor Nancy McFarlane assured Shaw students that a police substation would not be going on campus and argued that the city has been making changes out of its conversations with members of PACT during the past year.

PREVIOUS STORY: SHAW UNIVERSITY SPLIT OVER IDEA OF RALEIGH PD SUBSTATION

"We have now implemented written consent search forms," McFarlane said. "The internal affairs unit has developed an enhanced protocol for accepting and tracking citizen complaints and is focused on providing more timely updates to citizens."

She went on to say that Raleigh police are in the final stages of testing the body-worn camera systems. They're testing multiple systems, and citizens will be invited to participate in policy development as soon as they have decided on which system they will be use going forward.

She also said RPD has increased its training efforts of its anti-bias policing.

"We have been listening and we have been working with you," the mayor said.

REPORTED CRIME AT SHAW FROM 2006-2015 (.pdf)

As far as police presence around Shaw University, a spokesperson for the Raleigh Police Department said there is already a significant amount of patrols. They point out the university is only a few blocks from the Downtown District Station on West Cabarrus Street and specialty units are available to respond to the area around Shaw.

The university also has its own campus police.

Still, Dubroy said she made the plea for more police based on what students told her during a town hall on campus about safety.

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