San Marcos, TX – After Texas State University (TSU) students proposed legislation that called for the dissolution of the campus police department, the student government rejected the attempt and instead voted to send officers to "ally training."
The legislation was authored by TSU student government Senator Claudia Gasponi, who was one of four students arrested during an on-campus altercation on May 1.
The scuffle erupted after one TSU student stole another student’s “Make America Great Again” hat, prompting campus police to intervene, cell phone footage showed.
But in the resolution, Gasponi alleged that the university’s police force is the true problem facing students, according to Campus Reform.
“Over-policing specifically targets and endangers people of color,” she wrote in the legislation, which she titled as “The Removal of Excessive and Abusive Policing Resolution.”
“In order to be truly inclusive, the needs of people of color must be set as a priority and not an afterthought, especially in an institution that historically has disenfranchised people of color,” the document read.
She said that TSU police act “in favor of white supremacists,” and that they have not been properly trained regarding racial sensitivity, de-escalation, and “LGBTQIA+” issues, according to Campus Reform.
She further alleged that police “ended up being the real threat” during the May 1 incident, and claimed that they “assaulted a lot of students,” KTBC reported.
TSU Young Conservatives Chairman Sebastian Quaid denounced the legislation, and argued that the university’s police force makes the campus safer, Campus Reform reported.
“With everything going on at campus, we need our police,” Quaid declared. “Do I have my problems with the police and government? Sure, but not in this instance.”
“Four students ‘of color’ broke the law and four students ‘of color’ were arrested as a result,” he continued. “There’s no conspiracy here. We have it on video what happened and I side with the police on this issue.”
The resolution failed to pass in a 4-to-17 vote on May 8.
The student government did pass a second resolution calling for the university’s police force to have additional training on de-escalation techniques and how to handle protests, Campus Reform reported.
The legislation, titled “A Resolution of Disapproval of the UPD Actions and the Implementation of De-escalation and Ally Training for all UPD Officers," would require new officers to meet with the TSU’s Office of Student Diversity every six months, among various other obligations.
But Gasponi maintains that dissolution of the campus police force is the only viable solution.
“If I had known how racist this school was, I probably would never have come here,” Gasponi complained to KTBC.
Gasponi’s confrontation with the officers began after a group of TSU students gathered at a location on campus where the Texas Nomads SAR biker group, was scheduled to stage a protest, The Washington Times reported.
The bikers’ demonstration never materialized.
TSU freshman “Tyler M.” said that he and his friends encountered the leftist counter-protesters and began speaking with them, Campus Reform reported.
"Again, none of our conservative people were ever instigating anything," Tyler told the paper. "I can guarantee that. No one was ever yelling or shouting over people. We were all very patient."
But as he attempted to speak with members of the group, someone took offense to the “Make America Great Again” hat he was wearing.
“That’s when I felt someone kind of come up behind me and…lift it up, and try to run away,” he told Campus Reform.
Tyler chased after the thief, and grabbed a hold of her backpack.
“As soon as I got out of the crowd, I let go of her bag and I came up beside her and I said, ‘Can you please give me back my hat?’” he recounted.
That’s when police intervened and began speaking with him and the woman who was still in possession of his stolen hat.
Cell phone footage showed the student as she tossed the hat onto the ground and kicked it.
“Shut the f--k up!” she yelled, as Tyler went to retrieve his hat from the ground.
People suddenly began screaming behind him, and he turned around to find the officers placing the woman and a masked person into handcuffs, he told Campus Reform.
“Don’t f--king touch her!” another woman screamed and wailed, as she circled around the officers.
“If that’s not white privilege, I don’t know what the f--k is!” another woman yelled.
After Tyler confirmed that he wanted to pursue charges over the attack, police asked him to accompany them to the station, video footage showed.
Other students followed as Tyler and the two people that had been arrested were led away.
But as they walked through a building, a wailing bystander lashed out at Tyler, and appeared to shove him or grab for his phone, the video showed.
“Why are you here?” she screamed at him hysterically. “Get out! Why are you here? You f--king racist -ss piece of s--t!”
“You’re escalating the situation,” another woman told him.
Once inside the lobby of the police station, a uniformed officer ended up in an abrupt altercation with a woman wearing a bandana over her face, the video showed.
She appeared to try to push past the officer, who told her she could not come any further into the building.
“Don’t f--king touch me!” she screamed, as she bumped into his chest with her own.
Two other officers rushed in to subdue the irate woman, who demanded to know what crime she was suspected of committing.
“Articulate it! Articulate it!” she yelled.
TSU Police Chief Laurie Clouse confirmed that four students had been arrested in connection with the incident, The Washington Times reported.
“Police officers quickly interceded and directed the student to drop the stolen property,” Chief Clouse said. “The student refused multiple directives and was then detained with the intention of being given a ticket for theft. The student was later arrested after providing a false identity to the police.”
Two other students were arrested for interfering with the officers’ duties, and a fourth was arrested for disorderly conduct outside the police department.
Tyler was not among those arrested.
“Although the investigation is ongoing, the initial review indicates that the officers involved acted appropriately with the goal of preventing further escalation,” Chief Clouse said. “When a theft occurred in plain view, they were right to act. I understand it’s difficult to watch the arrests on social media, however, the officers were there to protect all of our students. We expect our students to obey the law.”
The students who were charged in connection with the incident are Tyvonte Davis-Williams, 22, Alejandra Navarrete, 22, Nazarene Freeman, 20, and Gasponi, 24, KTBC reported.
Gasponi alleged that the police department's report about what occurred during the melee was "riddled with lies," KTBC reported.
Chief Clouse said that the officers acted appropriately during the incident, and that they successfully prevented the chaotic situation from escalating further.