Anti-Police Posting


Current Status:
Resolved

Although we believe this situation has been addressed in a way that should prevent future reoccurrence, those who believe they have been the target of bias, intolerance or discrimination may report an incident to the public incident report form (bias and intolerance) or the Office of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action (sexual misconduct and discrimination).

Please direct any questions or concerns in regard to this bias incident to the Special Assistant to the Chief Safety Officer at RBIresponse@utah.edu.

What happened

A poster with offensive words in Spanish and a negative portrayal of a police officer has been posted in a public-facing office window of a building on Presidents Circle since mid-March 2021. The poster depicts a police officer in riot gear in the style of a La Loteria card (a popular game in Latinx and Hispanic communities) and includes the words “El Bastardo” and the numbers 1312. Those numbers are associated with the letters “ACAB” in the English alphabet and the phrase “All Cops Are Bastards.” University police officers in the Latinx/Hispanic community feel targeted by the poster. Given that officers of color have been targeted for increased levels of vitriol and harassment, this poster was reported as having a specifically negative effect.

What is being done

As stated on its Human Resources website, the University of Utah is committed to academic and work environments that promote, facilitate and encourage mutual respect and collegial relationships. Further, the university is committed to maintaining and promoting trust among its employees and treating each other with professionalism.

While jobs and professions are not considered protected classes and don’t fall under the university’s nondiscrimination policy, in this case, police officers of Latinx/Hispanic descent felt particularly targeted by the poster. The university supports all its employees and the varied professions they represent—including police officers. Any actions that seek to dehumanize a targeted group of employees, by race or position, is deeply concerning, and the university condemns such actions. As is always the case for public institutions, the university is required to protect free speech rights and aims to balance that with the goal of creating a campus environment that fosters mutual respect and collegial relationships. The university recognizes the poster is offensive to Latinx/Hispanic members of its police force and firmly expresses its support for its officers and the important role they play in overall campus safety.

The Racist and Biased Incident Response Team (RBIRT) is working with involved parties and campus partners to attempt to resolve the matter amicably, with a constructive dialogue for those involved to express their views and to identify possible methods of resolution.

More about the work of University Safety and its five-year strategic plan can be found at safety.utah.edu.

What to do

Be vigilant and speak up. If you experience a racist or bias incident, make a report to the Racist and Bias Incident Response Team, or if you experience discrimination you can report to the Office of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action.

If you are interested in learning more about the variety of resources the university offers to support diversity and inclusion, please visit the Office of the Dean of Students in the Union Building, Room 270, deanofstudents@utah.edu, 801-581-7066, or the Division of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion in the Park Building, Room 208, or diversity.utah.edu/our-team/

The U is committed to equity, diversity and inclusion

The university continues to condemn bias, discrimination, racism, bigotry and hate in the strongest possible terms. We support fostering an inclusive campus and are committed to diversity. University administrators want to assure students, faculty and staff that they are dedicated to creating a safe, welcoming and equitable campus where we work together to engage, support and advance a living, learning and working environment that fosters values of respect, diversity, inclusivity and academic excellence.

Questions & Concerns

For any questions or concerns in regard to this bias incident, please contact Brian Jay Nicholls, Special Assistant to the Chief Safety Officer, at RBIresponse@utah.edu.

For additional reporting information, please feel free to visit here.

Response process
Support Resources

If you are currently in a situation where immediate medical, police or other emergency services are needed, call 911 or University Emergency Communications at 801-585-2677 (801-585-COPS). To file a complaint regarding discrimination or sexual harassment, contact the Office of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action (OEO/AA) at 801-581-8365.

Support & resources
Report a Bias Incident

Any act of intolerance, motivated wholly or in part by bias or prejudice against an individual’s race, color, ethnicity, age, religion, size, disability, national origin, language, gender, veteran status, identity expression, sexual orientation or age—regardless of severity—can be reported using this form.

Submit a report