College Officials "Regret" Confrontation
With Police on Campus
Sixteen arrested at Oakwood; police, college plan internal investigations
BY ANSEL OLIVER
dministrators of Seventh-day Adventist-owned Oakwood College in Huntsville, Alabama, United States, say they "regret" a confrontation between students and city police on campus the evening of December 8.
Police arrested 14 students and two other people after a crowd surrounded a police car and became hostile, Huntsville Police reported in a December 10 news release. The incident began when an off-duty officer arrested an 18-year-old woman for disorderly conduct after a basketball game and was driving her away in the patrol car.
Officers attempted to restore order by directing the crowd to disperse, police spokesman Wendell Johnson said. "Some individuals refused, others tried to incite the crowd," he said. Two officers suffered minor injuries.
"We deeply regret that this incident happened on our campus," said Michele Solomon, a spokeswoman for Oakwood College. "We are fully cooperating with the police investigation. We're also going through our own internal investigation of what happened," she said.
During a December 11 press conference, college President Delbert Baker said of the alleged violence: "all such actions are unacceptable and will not be tolerated or condoned at Oakwood College."
Baker said no disciplinary measures will be taken against students until police complete their investigation.
The 16 who were arrested have all been released. Baker and Police Chief Henry Reyes are in communication regarding the incident. Oakwood College is offering counseling services to anyone affected.
Established in 1896 as Oakwood Industrial School, the college has 1,824 students and will change its name to Oakwood University in January. --ANN