A University Police officer who shouted “Make America Great Again” at students on election night has resigned, the University announced Friday.
Three UPD officers were under investigation following the incident on Nov. 9, when a police car’s public address system was used to shout president-elect Donald Trump’s campaign slogan at students returning to their dorms following the results of the contentious election.
Trump’s election has been a source of anxiety for many University students, some of whom have responded by organizing a vigil for students to voice their concerns and signing on to a letter to University President Teresa Sullivan in support of undocumented students.
Student protesters who interrupted the Board of Visitors meeting on Nov. 11 included firing the officers in their list of demands.
“We demand that they be fired, and we demand a re-evaluation of our tuition dollars going to the University Police Department,” one protester said.
The investigation concluded that only one of the three officers abused the PA system.
“We believe any reasonable person would conclude that the inappropriate use of the PA system undermines the [University Police] Department’s goals and objectives and is detrimental to the department’s operation and the efficiency of the department,” a joint statement from Pat Hogan, University executive vice president and chief operating officer, and University Chief of Police Michael Gibson read.
Hogan and Gibson said the UPD is committed to high standards.
“We expect officers of the University of Virginia Police Department to exhibit empathy and concern for community members, treating all with due dignity and respect,” they said in the statement. “UPD remains committed to the highest professional standards in law enforcement and will work tirelessly to enhance the safety of our living and learning environment.”