Harvard Addresses Accusations of Racial Profiling by Campus Police

In 2004 S. Allen Counter, a professor of neuroscience at Harvard University, was stopped by campus police when they mistook him for a suspect in a robbery. Several other incidents have occurred in recent years in which the mostly white university police force was accused of racial profiling. Last fall a black high school student who worked at Harvard claimed that campus police pointed a gun at him while he was trying to unlock his bicycle.

Now a committee, which was appointed by Harvard president Drew Faust to look into the practices of the campus police, has recommended that the university appoint an independent public safety ombudsman to investigate complaints against the police. The committee also called for the establishment of an advisory committee made up of students, faculty, and administrators who would meet quarterly with public safety officials to discuss police/community relations.