As UCI students, we were disturbed by the news that Officer Jared Kemper, from our campus’s police force, unholstered his sidearm and pointed it at students. That Officer Kemper seemed emotionally distraught as he faced down students with a loaded weapon worries us even more.
Officer Kemper was also involved in an incident in 2007, in which an FBI agent conducting surveillance on a Muslim student-sponsored event deliberately drove into a crowd of students after he was approached by an organizer. Kemper, who was also surveilling those students, pulled over the FBI driver before letting them go; students were later told that the driver was with the FBI.
Given this behavior, it is clear that Officer Kemper is unfit to serve the UCI and UC communities. Not only has he shown little respect for Constitutional rights, but he has shown his potential to seriously injure, or kill, a UC student.
But we are not concerned merely with one bad able. The UC police and the UC administrations have demonstrated a track record of violence against students and suppression of political speech.
Last November, as the Regents imposed a 32% fee hike on us, students were arrested, beaten, and tased by UCPD officers from around the state, including several from UCI (Acuña and Chon).
Since then, around 200 UC students statewide have been arrested and now face student conduct charges for participation in nonviolent protests.
In the last few days, police have begun criminalizing not just actions but now speech. 5 students here at UCI were detained by UC police on Nov 17 for chalking, and Nov 18 several Berkeley students were cited by UC police for posting photos of Officer Kemper on campus, in designated posting areas.
Therefore, we call for the following:
* The immediate termination of Officer Jared Kemper
* The immediate disarming of all UC police of all ranks – of both tasers and guns
* The immediate end to suppression and criminalization of permitted and non-destructive political speech
* The immediate dismissal of criminal and student conduct charges against student protesters
* The immediate repeal of last year’s 32% fee hike and this year’s 8% increase