Loretta Lynch, the former attorney general under President Barack Obama, has been hired by Syracuse University to investigate the campus security police, Syracuse Chancellor Kent Syverud announced Monday.
The investigation was launched in response to student complaints about campus police actions during sit-ins stemming from reports of racist graffiti and other bias-related incidents on campus. Students organized as #NotAgainSU, which describes itself as a black student-led movement, say the university has not properly addressed more than 25 instances of racism, anti-Semitism and homophobia reported since the fall.
Among the demands from the protesters is a call to disarm officers in the Department of Public Safety. The protesters have said officers responded to their sit-in at the administration building last week with disproportionate force and mistreated students.
"I believe this review is necessary given that concerns have been raised through several channels about how DPS engages with our community and how it has managed various interactions with students, including protestors," Syverud wrote.
Chief of Public Safety Bobby Maldonado said on Twitter that he welcomes the review and any suggestions for improvement.
Syverud said Lynch, now in private law practice, is respected for her work on police-community relations and is “widely respected for bringing voice to all sides.”