DENVER — The American Civil
Liberties Union sent a letter to Colorado State University today demanding that
it amend campus police policies and training requirements following a racial
profiling incident this spring.
On April 30, two Native American
brothers, Kanewakeron Thomas Gray and Skanahwati Lloyd Gray, were touring the
campus when a parent who was also on the admissions tour called police on them
because the brothers “really stand out.”
CSU police officers detained, questioned, and searched the Grays although they
were never suspected of a specific crime. The brazen violation of the Grays’
constitutional rights was rooted in the report of suspicion based only on their
“My boys were publicly humiliated
and told that their looks alone make them suspicious characters. As a mother, I
was horrified to hear they were pulled away from a CSU tour because of
someone’s misplaced and racially motivated fears,” said
Lorraine Kahneratokwas Gray, whose family is represented by the ACLU.
“We are all disappointed, not only with CSU’s meager response, but also with
their false promises to right this wrong. I hope they fix these policies so
other parents do not have to wonder if their children will be safe and welcomed
In the letter, the ACLU urged the
CSU Police Department to implement additional trainings and adopt specific policies
addressing dispatcher and officer responses to bias-based reports.
In response to the rampant cases of
racial profiling on college campuses, including college staff calling
police on a Smith College student for
sitting on a sofa on campus, the ACLU is expanding upon its policy
recommendations to CSU and will launch a full-scale “Living While Black”
on Campus campaign.
The campaign will be geared towards
campuses that operate their own police and security forces, providing model
policies for administrators and toolkits and resources for students who wish to
lobby for change.
The demand letter is online here:
A blog post about the racial
profiling incident at CSU is online here:
This press release is online here:
Ana Blinder, ACLU, email@example.com
John Krieger, ACLU of Colorado, firstname.lastname@example.org