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Syracuse Hires Loretta Lynch to Review Campus Police

February 25, 2020

Syracuse University has hired former U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch to review its campus police department, it announced Monday.

The move comes after Syracuse last week suspended more than 30 students who took part in a sit-in at its administration building, only to quickly rescind the suspensions.

Protesters were objecting to what they believe was administrators’ slow response to racist and anti-Semitic incidents on campus in the fall. Their demands have included that the chief of the university’s Department of Public Safety resign.

Kent Syverud, the university’s chancellor, apologized for its response to the sit-ins in a Monday all-campus message, reported. He apologized especially to students “misidentified in suspension letters sent out.”

The university will hire Lynch, who was attorney general under President Obama, to conduct an “independent, expedited review” of its Department of Public Safety. Lynch is now at the law firm Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison.

“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 protesters,” Syverud said in the Monday message. “Our DPS officers work very hard every day and night to protect our students and our community. Our community expectations and our needs have evolved, and this review will result in recommendations on how DPS can best meet today’s community’s needs going forward.”

Syverud also assigned the university’s interim provost to develop protocols for handling protests and directed an independent review of the university’s student experience function.


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