NewsLocal News


Cal Poly investigating faculty union's claim of racial profiling

Posted at 5:57 PM, Nov 15, 2019

The Cal Poly SLO Chapter of the California Faculty Association (CFA) says it suspects campus police of racial profiling.

In a letter to its members sent Thursday, the CFA says that earlier this quarter, a faculty member of color was pulled over, handcuffed, and their vehicle was searched. The CFA says the faculty member was given no reason for being stopped and was released with no citation or apology.

"The treatment that this faculty member was subjected to was disturbing and humiliating and the faculty member's dignity was severely compromised. The faculty member continues to fear being randomly stopped again by campus police," the letter says.

It goes on to say that instead of lodging a complaint with the university, the faculty member reported the incident to the CFA out of fear of possible retribution.

Cal Poly's administration says the CFA's letter was the first time they had heard of the allegation but they immediately searched through fall quarter police incidents and were unable to find any traffic stops or other interactions that matched the above description.

Cal Poly says it is seeking additional details in order to investigate further.

"If any member of our campus is harmed, we want and need to know about it. We will do all that we can to support them, bring about justice, and ensure their ongoing safety, wellbeing and comfort. We can only do this if incidents are reported, which allows us to launch an investigation, hold accountable those who are responsible, and take corrective action to help ensure similar incidents don't happen again," President Jeffrey D. Armstrong said in a letter sent to campus Friday evening.

Officials say the University Police Department records and logs officer stops and interactions through body camera and dash camera footage.

Cal Poly says the CFA has been unwilling to provide any additional details about the incident. The CFA says in its letter that it is working with the faculty member to consider their next steps.

University officials say they plan to hire a third-party investigator to look into the allegations.