University of Louisville apologizes for crime alert that failed to be ‘anti-racist’
- The University of Louisville issued an apology for a crime alert, which described the suspect as a “Black man wearing a red hoodie.”
- The university president said that while the statement “may have been true,” the crime alert was “not an anti-racist statement.”
The University of Louisville sent a crime alert that included the physical description of an African-American suspect. After backlash from the university community, the school’s president issued an apology.
On September 8, the university described the suspect as a “black male wearing a red hoodie.” University President Neeli Bendapudi apologized on social media and said that the alert “likely made many on our campus feel less safe than more safe.”
The RAVE alert sent from @UofL around 2 a.m. Thursday morning did not serve its intended purpose and likely made many on our campus feel less safe than more safe. We are addressing our process internally to ensure this never happens again. We will do better.— Neeli Bendapudi (@UofLPresNeeli) September 10, 2020
Her full statement, according to WAVE 3, said that “The work of anti-racism requires thoughtful reflection and intentional action,” which “requires us to acknowledge when we have erred and to do better when we know better.”
While the crime alert “may have been true,” it was “not an anti-racist statement,” according to Bendapudi. “I extend to each and every member of our campus community, particularly those that were further negatively traumatized by this alert, my most sincere apologies. I am sorry. I have instructed my team to follow up to ensure this does not happen again. We will do better."
The University of Louisville Executive Director of Communications John Karman told Campus Reform that the alert “was not authorized, did not meet any of our criteria for sending such a notification and was released by mistake.”
University of Louisville community members were not satisfied with the apology.
“Yall are managing to be racist on ‘accident’ quite a bit,” said one student.
First the protesters who weren't even on campus and now this, yall are managing to be racist on "accident" quite a bit https://t.co/FtQOwenTfj— Sean (@Sean_140) September 10, 2020
“This message endagered [sic] every Black man on campus and I dont think any apology from the university could ever make up for that,” said another.
The University of Louisville Police Department also issued an apology for the impact of the crime alert.
"RAVE Alerts are for police updates when there is either a serious crime, or an immediate threat to our campus. This situation didn't meet either criteria," Chief Gary Lewis said.
On behalf ULPD, I want to apologize for the impact of the RAVE alert message sent to our campus community. RAVE Alerts are for police updates when there is either a serious crime, or an immediate threat to our campus. This situation didn’t meet either criteria.— University of Louisville Police Department (@UofLPD) September 10, 2020
Chief Gary Lewis
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