More than 100 protesters from the University of Pennsylvania and Drexel University demanded that both schools disband and defund their respective police departments in a march through University City on Sunday, reported The Daily Pennsylvanian.
The march comes nearly two months after thousands of students and faculty signed an online petition asking Penn to cease its support of the Philadelphia Police Department, which the petition called a “racist, fascist police state” that is “fully complicit in the structural conditions that have led to the lynchings of Black men, women, and transgender people in our communities.”
In addition to disbanding the university police forces, the protesters also called on Penn to fire its vice president for public safety, Maureen Rush. They also called on Drexel to cut its ties with the independent police department reviewer and former Philadelphia police commissioner, Charles Ramsey and to commit to “Payments in Lieu of Taxes,” or PILOTS, which are donations that property tax-exempt organizations can make to local governments.
The Penn and Drexel protests are among hundreds of others across the nation that have ensued following the police killing of George Floyd in May. Days after Floyd’s death, the University of Minnesota minimized its ties with the Minneapolis police department and, in July, the University of Maryland reassessed what type of equipment its campus police department should own.