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NYPD Denies Water and Food to Student Protesters During Raids

Title: Inhumane Treatment of Student Protesters: NYPD’s Violations and Unjust Arrests

The recent police crackdown on student protests in New York City has raised serious concerns about the treatment of arrested students. Reports from faculty members at Columbia University’s Barnard College shed light on the inhumane conditions faced by these students, including denial of water and food for 16 hours. This article delves into the details of the arrests, the mistreatment of students, and the subsequent calls for investigation and accountability.

Arrests and Mistreatment:
During the crackdown, a total of 282 protesters were arrested at Columbia University and the City College of New York. Shockingly, students reported being beaten by New York City Police Department officers after their arrests, with some even requiring hospitalization for their injuries. The Intercept obtained photos of these injuries, further substantiating the claims made by the students.

Inhumane Conditions:
According to faculty members at Barnard College, students were subjected to deplorable conditions while in custody. Some were placed in solitary confinement for three hours, while others were held in mouse-infested cells alongside the general population. The most distressing aspect was the denial of water and food for 16 hours, leaving at least one student without shoes during this period. Such conditions not only violate basic human rights but also strip away the dignity of those detained.

Nationwide Crackdown:
The police crackdown on university protests was not limited to New York City. Across the country, police forces and state troopers raided protests at numerous campuses, resulting in over 2,500 arrests. These alarming numbers highlight a concerning trend of suppressing peaceful demonstrations.

False Portrayal and Disproportionate Charges:
Mitra, a professor at Barnard College, emphasized that the arrests were fueled by a false narrative propagated by the NYPD, top officials, and the media. They wrongly portrayed the protests as being organized by outside forces. Mayor Eric Adams himself approved the police raids based on a misleading social media photo of an “outside agitator” who turned out to be a retired school teacher and grandmother. Mitra called for a strong pushback against this narrative, stressing that all protesters, regardless of their affiliation, should be treated fairly.

Columbia University’s Response:
In response to the protests and subsequent arrests, Columbia University canceled its main graduation ceremony due to security concerns and ongoing discussions with students. Instead, the university opted for smaller celebrations for individual schools. This decision reflects the impact of the crackdown on the campus community.

Calls for Investigation:
The Legal Aid Society, a public defense organization in New York City, has demanded an investigation into at least 46 cases where protesters were allegedly “unlawfully jailed” for low-level charges. The organization has urged the city’s Department of Investigation to look into the NYPD’s use of social media accounts to falsely link protests to terrorism. This misuse of authority undermines trust in law enforcement and hampers future protests.

The mistreatment of student protesters during the recent police crackdown in New York City has raised serious concerns about human rights violations and unjust arrests. The denial of water and food, beatings by police officers, and false portrayals of protesters as outside agitators are clear indications of a flawed system. It is crucial that investigations are conducted to hold those responsible accountable and ensure that such violations do not recur. Upholding the dignity and rights of all individuals, regardless of their political beliefs, is paramount in maintaining a just society.

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