Dozens of students, community members, clergy, and labor allies led a car caravan through South Los Angeles to the USC Department of Public Safety to hold a press conference demanding the university take immediate steps to abolish the USC police force and reinvest those funds in affordable housing for the surrounding community.
The coalition, led by Creating Justice, ACCE, USC Forward, and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, also called for an end to restrictive campus security measures aimed at keeping local residents out of USC facilities, and a commitment by the university to recruit and admit at least 1,000 students annually from LAUSD schools, with full scholarships.
The USC Department of Public Safety operates through an agreement with the Los Angeles Police Department, and is one of the largest campus police forces in the nation, with a whopping $50 million annual budget. USC administrators have done little to address over policing and racial profiling on campus, despite substantial judgments levied against the Department of Public Safety in recent years.
While our caravan was initially stopped at the University’s gates, students, community, and labor allies blocked the intersection of Vermont and Downey for over 30 minutes with chants of “Abolish USC Police.” Soon after, campus security opened the gates, and our coalition led a delegation directly to DPS HQ.