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Monday, Feb 22, 2021 at 10:52 pm

CitrusTV News Special Report: Loretta Lynch Releases Investigation Report into DPS

By Ricky Sayer

SYRACUSE, N.Y. – Syracuse University on Monday released former Attorney General  Loretta Lynch’s long-awaited review of SU’s Department of Public Safety. 

Lynch’s report revealed that Syracuse University’s Department of Public Safety did not follow their own standard operating procedures, in at least “some respects,” for most investigations involving “Hate Crimes and Bias-Incidents.” 

The same report says they cannot “conclude that DPS could have or should have identified the perpetrator or perpetrators of the bias-related incidents.”

The independent probe was launched after a series of more than 18 hate crimes on or near Syracuse University’s campus in the fall of 2019. The “bias incidents,” as DPS referred to them as, as well as DPS’s and SU’s response to them, spurred the #NotAgainSU protests and occupation of the Barnes Center, and in the Spring, Crouse-Hinds Hall.

Protesters alleged DPS officers treat white students with more respect and assume the worst when interacting with student of color.

The nearly 100-page report both looks into DPS’s policies, how those polices were followed during the bias incidents and protests, and makes recommendations for DPS’s future. It also offers a significant amount of new information about the university’s handling of the bias incidents and protests. 

For instance, the report confirms Syracuse University restricted food from getting to protesters inside of Crouse-Hinds Hall for 48 hours. At the same time, it concluded neither SU admin or DPS deprived protesters of food. It notes while food was originally restricted “the administration did provide food for the protestors within approximately 26 hours and allowed outside food within 48 hours.” 

Protesters had repeatedly used the chant “who starved the students.”

The report stresses the important role DPS plays on campus 

“DPS is often in the position of issuing the initial communications about high-emotion events, like bias related incidents or possible threats of safety, through both DPS’s public safety alerts and its subsequent updates,” the report found.

In a message released shortly after publication of full report, Syracuse Chancellor Kent Severed said the university “let you down.” He said the university’s actions were “exacerbated by fear.”