Campus Police Brutality Charges - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

11/17/04

Campus Police Brutality Charges

Students gather to demonstrate. Students gather to demonstrate.

There are charges of police brutality coming out of Savannah State University. Students held a demonstration today, protesting a campus police officer who they say has been physically and verbally abusive.

They claim it alls started a few months ago. The last straw, they claim the officer pulled a gun on them and threw them in jail without reason.

Students claim Officer Marcus Williams, whom they call Robocop, has changed the meaning of campus security. "Officer Williams has continuously abused his authority by physically and verbally assaulting us," one student told the assembly over a bullhorn.

Grad student Shannon Holman claims he was on the receiving end of Officer Williams' abuse of power during a routine traffic stop. "I asked him what was going on," he said. He yelled obscenities at me and started yelling and cursing at me."

Then the situation got worse. "I got out in front of the car, had my hands in the air. He runs up and grabs me throws me into the ground puts his knee in my back and throws me in jail."

The students say the horror stories don't end there. Sophomore Maurice Ross says he and his friends had a gun pulled on them for no apparent reason when they were going back to their dorm rooms. "Of course I was scared. He's tall and IO'm short. He had the gun pointed to my head."

Now these students are signing a petition asking the administration to suspend Officer Williams until it completes its investigation.

Savannah State officials declined an on-camera interview, but they say they're aware of the allegations and an independent panel consisting of professors and deans is conducting the investigation. Campus police are also conducting their own investigation.

Reported by: Hena Daniels, hdaniels@wtoc.com

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