Students

Investigation Firm Seeks Testimonies Following Detainment

Carly Behm | The PhoenixStudents shared their stories of alleged racial profiling by Campus Safety at a town hall event March 1 following the detainment of two Loyola students Feb. 24.

As an investigation into a Feb. 24 incident between students and Campus Safety continues, the investigation firm Hillard Heintze is asking for student testimonies, according to an email sent to Loyola students from Office of the Provost May 2.

The incident occurred in the Damen Student Center at Loyola’s Lake Shore Campus and resulted in two students being detained by Campus Safety after they questioned officers who were searching two men who had allegedly scalped tickets to the men’s basketball game in Gentile Arena.

Following the incident, the students involved and some on-campus student groups formed the #NotMyLoyola movement in which students demanded accountability from the university for alleged racial profiling by Campus Safety officers. The students say this isn’t a new phenomenon, and many have shared personal experiences with Campus Safety saying they were profiled based on their race.

The university will also require Campus Safety officers to wear body cameras following the incident, The Phoenix previously reported.

According to its website, Hillard Heintze is one of the top consulting firms for risk management in the country. The firm was founded in 2004 by a retired superintendent of the Chicago Police Department and has conducted investigations into federal agencies, police departments and government affairs.

The email encouraged students to share personal testimonies on the incident and ensured students who share will be protected from retaliation for reporting their perspective. Students were given the email of a Hillard Heintze employee, Shirley Colvin, to share their stories.

On its Facebook page, #NotMyLoyola encouraged students to share their testimonies with Hillard Heintze and give recommendations for Campus Safety improvements.

In conjunction with the Hillard Heintze investigation, the university has also put together a task force comprised of students, faculty members, staff and outside experts to analyze the situation and devise a plan going forward to avoid further issues.

According to the university website, the task force was supposed to provide recommendations to President Jo Ann Rooney by the end of April. It’s unclear if recommendations have been given yet or when the investigation will conclude.

Loyola spokesperson Christian Anderson said the information gathered from Hillard Heintze’s investigation will be provided to the task force to support their recommendations.

“For this process to be meaningful, the investigators wish to gather as much information as possible, especially from students who may have witnessed the incident,” Anderson said in an email to The Phoenix.

Debra Kirby, a representative from Hillard Heintze, confirmed the firm is working with the task force at Loyola.

“Pursuant to our agreement with the school, we are working with the Task Force and remain actively involved in the investigation of the incident,” Kirby said in an email to The Phoenix. “We seek to remain a neutral third party and will present our findings to the University upon the completion of the investigation.”

Representatives from #NotMyLoyola didn’t return a request for comment from The Phoenix at the time of publication.

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