Heightened law enforcement draws concerns from U.Va. students

Hundreds of state troopers are being housed at the University as a safety measure for upcoming weekend

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State trooper vehicles stationed in the parking lot beside the Lambeth Field residence area, where many personnel are being housed.

Geremia Di Maro | Cavalier Daily

Hundreds of state law enforcement personnel have been sent to the Charlottesville area in anticipation of the anniversary of the white nationalist rallies in the city last year. Virginia Governor Ralph Northam and Interim City Manager Mike Murphy declared state and local emergencies Wednesday, expanding security measures in the region.

In addition to road closures, and restricted access to the Downtown Mall and the Lawn, some law enforcement personnel are being housed in the Lambeth Field Residence area on Grounds.

The heightened police presence on and around Grounds has been a cause for alarm among some students, particularly within minority communities.

DREAMers on Grounds posted a public statement on social media Thursday condemning the “expansive and over-the-top militarization of UVA’s Grounds without proper consent of the student body, particularly students of color and undocumented students.”

“Students have expressed confusion and worry upon seeing hundreds of cars parked in the residential dorm areas — many are afraid of the potential of being stopped and frisked,” the statement reads.

Activist group U.Va. Students United also posted on its Facebook page criticisms of the University housing of state police on Grounds.

“This only reaffirms UVA's complicity with state-sanctioned violence,” the post states. “These are the same forces who teargassed us last year on July 8th and protected white supremacists August 11&12. Tell UVA Housing & Residence Life *now* that it's unacceptable and unnecessary for them to house state troopers, especially without informing the student body.”

In a statement to The Cavalier Daily regarding potential student discomfort with the increased police presence on Grounds, University Spokesperson Anthony de Bruyn said “the increase in law enforcement is part of the regional team’s effort to do all it can to keep our community safe.”

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