Oklahoma City University responds to allegations of racial profiling by campus police

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OKLAHOMA CITY - Broderick McQuarters said he had been asleep for hours when he heard a loud noise at his room.

"Opened the door, and the first thing I hear is 'Get up!' Yelling, like a loud voice telling me to get up, and I jumped. I was confused,” McQuarters said.

Around 2 a.m., McQuarters said police with Oklahoma City University came to his dorm room to question him about a broken parking garage sensor.

Campus police told him they were looking for a man and a woman seen in surveillance video and his truck was the last one in the garage.

"The description of the guy didn't match me at all. The description of the guy was an African-American male who was taller like I was, but he was also very thin and also didn't have long hair like I do,” McQuarters said.

He said he feels like he was racially profiled and said he isn't the only one.

"In the [Black Student Association] meetings we go to, we have students talking about their past and previous experiences with police officers here and it hasn't always been the most positive," he said.

The incident became the topic of an article in the school's newspaper, which prompted a lengthy email to the student body from OCU President Robert Henry.

In the email, he admits the officers’ actions "fell short of our standards." He also said they will continue diversity training for all officers.

"He talked to me personally and was trying to ensure that, 'Hey, I apologize that something like this happened and I want to make sure you still feel safe because that's our number one goal here," McQuarters said.

There will now be a meeting with the Black Student Association and the community to address any concerns.

It is something McQuarters believes is a step in the right direction.

Oklahoma City University sent KFOR the following statement:

“Oklahoma City University administrators take accusations of racial profiling very seriously. Our students and the community should expect a fair, just and safe environment while on campus. We take pride in our campus as a place that encourages diversity and turns away racism. Although we believe the early morning police entry into a student’s room based on a property crime was not in line with our standards, the investigation found no evidence of racial profiling or racial bias. Wednesday’s message underscored the efforts the university is making to have an open and diverse campus.

Our OCU Police Department works very hard, often in trying circumstances. Every storm, OCU PD works overtime with our facilities department to make our campus safe, and get it running again. In every emergency of any kind, we have trained officers who immediately respond. Whether helping students with car problems, or dealing with potentially dangerous campus intruders, our police help us every day, 24/7.”

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