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Black students step up, demand for change at UA

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TUCSON (KVOA) - University of Arizona President Robert C. Robbins did not offer an apology Tuesday to a Black student group over the presence of campus police at a George Floyd rally in June. 

The Coalition of Black Students and Allies (COBA) conducted a Zoom call with Robbins, his senior leadership team, and with UA Police Chief Brian Seastone. 

The group was upset that about 50 campus police officers showed up prior to the Celebration of Black Lives rally on June 6. 

Students say the cops were dressed in tactical gear. 

UA's black students are asking for a university moving forward that is more inclusive

A verbal disagreement between organizers from Black Lives Matter Tucson and university officials nearly led to the event being canceled at the 11th hour. 

Seastone apologized if there was a miscommunication on the presence of police at the rally. 

He says there was never an agreement that UAPD would not be present and that their form of dress was consent with their surveillance at any large gathering on campus. 

COBA sent a list of 21 demands to the president’s office last month asking for change designed to facilitate a more inclusive environment for minority students on campus.

Among those demands was defunding of UAPD and withdrawal of university relations with the Tucson Police Department. 

Robbins said he would be open to shifting dollars from the campus police budget to bolster services at the school’s cultural centers. 

UA has no plans to end their relationship with TPD. 

Copyright 2020 News 4 Tucson. All rights reserved. 

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David Kelly

David Kelly is the weekend sports anchor at KVOA in Tucson. He is a 28-year veteran of the sports broadcast business.

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