BOSTON — The Interim Chancellor at The University of Massachusetts Boston is no longer allowing the Massachusetts State Police Troopers to park on campus.
In a letter to students, faculty, alumni and staff, Interim Chancellor Katherine Newman said police cars on campus can “serve as an implied deterrent to the right to protest.”
According to Newman, “members of the majority-minority campus… felt unheard, offended, or frightened by the presence on campus of state police.”
UMass Boston has long allowed police agencies to use its lots and garages off William T. Morrissey Blvd, as a meeting spot or rallying point for big events like the Boston Marathon and championship parades.
Most recently, state troopers have been parking on campus before being sent to ongoing protests related to the death of George Floyd in Minnesota.
The decision is drawing criticism from some in the law enforcement community.
Hampden Police Chief Jeff Farnsworth is the president of the Massachusetts Chiefs of Police Association. He said that, “there was no communication. It was an abject decision made on perceptions without discussion."
“Basically we’re talking about a series of cruisers that were parked in a parking lot. And they were afraid of the optics of that. And to me that’s quite surprising and disheartening.” Farnsworth said.
A UMass spokesperson said, “The statement speaks to the current/recent situation but does not speak to future events or situations” regarding the parking ban.
A state police spokesperson declined to comment when contacted by WFXT.