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June 02, 1989 - Image 6

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
Michigan Daily Summer Weekly, 1989-06-02

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OPINION
Page 6 The Michigan Daily
Police accreditation is not warranted

Two WEEKS ago, at a cost of pay, is blatantly fraudulent. It is a
eleven thousand dollars of Ann poor substitute for a citizens' review
Arbor taxpayers' money, the Ann board. Instead of being responsible
Arbor City Police force was recom- to the citizens who pay their
mended for "accreditation." The pro- salaries, the AAPD are judged by
paganda value of this recommenda- other police officers-who can
tion-based on a survey of the Ann hardly be expected to render an im-
Arbor Police Department (AAPD) partial decision. No police force sur-
by fellow police officers from around veyed has ever been denied accredita-
the nation-cannot be overestimated. tion, which is why both the states of
This accreditation will translate New York and California have re-
into lower insurance rates for the jected this hypocritical procedure.
Department-since it will be more The judgement is not based on
difficult to bring charges of police past performance of the police force,
brutality and negligence against such only its conduct since April 19 of
an "excellent" police force. This this year-at which point the police
provides the Department a shot in had conveniently written a new pol-
the arm just as it is being exposed to icy. Never mind the harassment of
increasingly harsh criticism for a Latin America Solidarity demonstra-
systematic pattern of misconduct tors-twice-in October of 1985 for
against the very people-Ann daring to express opinions and carry
Arbor's citizens-it is pledged to signs at odds with those of George
protect. Bush and NBC News, respectively.
The accreditation process, for Never mind the police riots during
which the citizens of a city already the 1987 Art Fair-which prompted
running a budget deficit have had to a City Council investigation because
Edited and managed by students of the University of Michigan
Vol. XCIX, NO. 4-S 420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
Unsigned editorials re present a majority of the Daily's Editorial Board. All other
cartoons, signed artices, and letters do not necessarily represent the opinion
of the Daily.
A lesson for Dude
INCIDENTS OF racial and homopho- nized the necessity of immediately
bic harassment are not unique to the meeting with student leaders and
University campus. In May, Brown anti-racist activists on that campus.
University reported several incidents This rapid response can be con-
similar to those that have occurred trasted with the failure of President
here, including graffiti and racist fly- Duderstadt to even condemn inci-
ers inviting Brown students to join dents of harassment here. In a letter
the Ku Klux Klan. to the student body last March
What is different about the two Duderstadt wrote, "...hardly a week
campus conflicts is the response of passes without a call from one group
Brown University officials, who or another for the University to take
have acted in a radically different way a particular stance on a particular is-
than their Michigan counterparts. sue or incident...While I understand
Immediately following these inci- the pressures we all feel from time
dents the Brown president wrote a to time, I strongly believe that we
letter to both the University com- will achieve our goals only if we
munity and parents of students, keep our eyes firmly focused on the
apologizing on behalf of the prize ahead and to resist calls for an
University and condemning the inci- immediate reactive stance on every
dents. Pledging to end them, issue that arises."
Brown's president wrote that these In a gross distortion of Civil
actions constituted "...an assault Right's language and philosophy,
against our senses and the decency of Dudrstadt tried to portray himself as
our community...and since this is a a member of the anti-racist struggle
place of learning, it has angered us on this campus, a position totally
even more." Moreover, in addressing unsubstantiated by his actions.
the crisis, Brown's president recog- Duderstadt's idea of what can chari-

of the police brutality involved-or
the ignominious repeat of this inci-
dent at the Duderstadt inauguration
last October.
At this same event, a graduate stu-
dent was knocked unconscious by
the AAPD and subsequently hospi-
talized, as numerous witnesses have
testified in court. Never mind the ra-
cially motivated police riot at the
Blind Pig this last winter or the
AAPD's casual indifference to the
racist attacks perpetrated against
people of color at the basketball ri-
ots in April.
Never mind the similar indiffer-
ence displayed by police officers

who, last summer, casually watched rather than confront the sordid his-
gay people being assaulted-provok- tory of the Department.
ing a demonstration at police head-
quarters of over three hundred people. Ignoring this pattern of violence
Never mind Harold Marcuse who is against citizens is to risk accelera-
currently suing the police for placing tion of police misconduct and brutal-
him in a headlock and kicking him ity in a way that is more likely to
in the groin at a CIA protest two repeat the story of similar incidents
years ago. in cities like Philadelphia and
All of these incidents took place Houston-both eventually sued by
before April 19 of this year, but the U.S. Justice Department for po-
have been erased by the lice brutality. Allowing the
Department's allegedly "new" pol- accreditation process to continue
icy. This blatant disregard for at least unchallenged conveys a message to
four years of history demonstrates the AAPD that their past actions
that the accreditation board closed have been, in fact, condoned and
ranks with the Ann Arbor police virtually erased.

0

.During a protest march, Abernathy and King are arrested. They were subsequently charged with
marching in defiance of a court injuction. (Wide World Photo)

tably be called a "response" to 1) Institute an on-going dia-
racism here was unilateral and top logue between student activists,
down-a public relations campaign staff, administrators, and faculty that
otherwise known as the Michigan is aimed at forming policies that
Mandate. The response at Brown has combat the above named issues.
been to work cooperatively-with 2) Create-a mandatory gradua-
students, faculty and the administra- tion requirement to address the issue
tion communicating with each other. of racism. Institute an oversight
While the actions of the Brown board of students and faculty with a
administration can only be consid- history of fighting these issues to
ered a beginning, the responses of administer the requirement.
the two university administrations 3) Increase funding for re-
have sent different messages to their cruitment and retention of third
communities. One has sent the mes- world faculty and students.
sage that incidents of racial and sex- 4) Add a clause to the
ual harassment are an embarrassment University's logo saying that it does
and need to be covered up. The other not discriminate on the basis of sex-
has sent a message that such actions ual orientation.
will not be tolerated and need to be
dealt with in a serious and forceful The Opinion Page is ac
manner.
If Duderstadt is determined and color and women to writ(
willing to fight racism, sexism and Sharon Holland at 995-20
homophobia on this campus, he 764-0552. Editorial Board
must adhere to the following de- at 12:00 and Wednesday at
mands that have been articulated by
student activists:

5) Ban the Federal Bureau of
Investigation, the Central
Intelligence Agency and the Armed
Forces from using University facili-
ties to recruit, as these groups ac-
tively foster policies and procedures
which are racist, sexist and homo-
phobic.
These demands represent the bare
minimum of an anti-racist program;
if met, they will only initiate the
struggle against it. Duderstadt's in-
ability to go even this far is as much
an embarrassment to the University
as the deplorable racist, sexist and
homophobic acts that his passivity
encourages.
tively recruiting people of
e editorials. Please contact
29 or call the Daily offices at
d meetings are every Sunday
6:00.

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