Two campus police officers were terminated from Louisiana’s Xavier University after a college event spun out of control on Tuesday morning.
Xavier students attended a midnight breakfast event on the New Orleans campus hosted on Dec. 3. Students told WVUE that the staff demanded they clean up their mess after the event ended. Things quickly escalated after campus police locked students inside the cafeteria and college-goers realized they were unable to get out.
“They locked the gates of the U.C., so people, you know, you can’t just do that. There’s a bunch of people in there, they started panicking,” said Ariellele Bean, an Xavier freshman.
The frightened students then found a back exit and began pushing through the door, but moments later cops allegedly started pepper-spraying the crowd.
Bean claimed the officers grabbed a student who tried to back off and kept pulling the person away “from the rest of the students who were running out.”
University officials refused to confirm if whether or not the details described by the students were true. However, the Xavier University Chief of Staff did condemn the officer’s “egregious behavior” and said an ongoing investigation is in the works. The public safety director also resigned from his position following the “disturbing” incident.
Xavier University President Dr. Reynold Verret said in a statement Wednesday, “I am deeply disturbed by the incident that took place on Monday night involving our students. Incidents like these do not reflect the core values of our university and are unacceptable.”
He added, “[The] two officers involved in the incident have been permanently relieved of their duties and removed from campus, and Director of Public Safety Jacques S. Battiste has submitted his resignation.”