University, police, students react to arrests

first_imgThe second major police raid last weekend resulted in a broken-down door, landed a police officer in the hospital and brought the total number of alcohol-related arrests since students returned to school to nearly 60. The incident, in which students reportedly refused to open the door and one person punched and kicked an officer while resisting arrest, sent 35 people to jail. The recent trend to arrest — rather than cite — students for underage drinking has caught the attention of both students and the University. University spokesman Dennis Brown said the administration is working to address the issue. “We clearly don’t condone underage drinking or gatherings that infringe on the rights of others,” Brown said. “At the same time, the welfare of our students is our highest priority. “We have concerns about the handling of some recent incidents that we are actively addressing through appropriate channels.” Indiana State Excise Police busted a party on Turtle Creek Drive Sunday morning and arrested 32 people for minor consuming alcohol, one person for public intoxication and one person for furnishing alcohol to minors. One person was also arrested for resisting law enforcement, battery to a police officer, disorderly conduct and minor consuming alcohol. Tim Cleveland, excise police commander for the district, said many of those arrested were Notre Dame students, but he could not confirm that all were students. The excise police were in the area of the party because South Bend police asked them to check a location of another party. When officers arrived, the party they had been called for was not occurring, but they discovered the party on Turtle Creek Drive, Cleveland said. “They stumbled across the one at Turtle Creek,” he said. Meanwhile, South Bend police received a call for trespassing at the same party. “There were individuals who were climbing the fence to gain access to the pool, which was closed,” Cleveland said. South Bend and excise police officers were denied access to the apartment and waited for two hours to obtain a search warrant. Once the warrant was obtained, the residents continued to deny officers entry and South Bend police broke down the door. Cleveland said officers decided to arrest rather than issue citations for underage drinking because of the resistance they encountered. “They still didn’t open the door even though they knew we had a search warrant,” he said. “Then when we did gain access into the residence, people were hiding in closets and everywhere else that they could find.” A police officer was injured when one person resisted arrest. He spent most of Sunday at South Bend Memorial Hospital. “He was punched, he was kicked and he did some damage to his knee,” Cleveland said. Cleveland encouraged students to cooperate if they encounter law enforcement officials. While underage drinking is an arrest-able offense, officers are less likely to incarcerate with cooperation, he said. “It’s a higher likelihood that you’ll be incarcerated if you try to hide and attempt to destroy evidence and fail to cooperate,” Cleveland said. “It is not our policy to incarcerate everybody that we encounter that is consuming alcohol underage.” The recent influx in arrests for underage drinking has many students on edge. Junior Sarah Beringer said “a ton of people are talking about it.” “A lot of people are more scared,” she said. “And some are really pissed off.” Junior Nick Grasberger said he has noticed a large increase in incidents. “This year, so many more people have been arrested as opposed to just written up,” he said. “This year is unprecedented to the point where you don’t really feel safe anywhere.” The large number of arrests has driven students to change their habits when it comes to weekend activities. For Beringer, it means staying sober when venturing off campus. For Grasberger, who lives in St. Edward’s Hall, it sometimes means not going off campus at all. “We’ve had a couple parties in St. Ed’s as opposed to just going straight off campus,” he said. “Then when I have gone off campus, I haven’t stayed anywhere too long.” Grasberger said the arrests are especially notable because there may be other crimes occurring in the area that could have more of an impact. “The South Bend police are not focusing on the things that are important for law enforcement. When you’re out busting parties to get money at the expense of preventing actual crime in a town where crime is a real issue, then that’s a problem,” he said. “The priorities of legal authorities have to be elsewhere.”last_img read more


Window for containing coronavirus in Mideast closing: WHO

first_imgTopics : The total number of cases in the region has risen to 58,168 from 32,442 on March 26, the WHO said, on a day when global COVID-19 cases crossed the 1 million mark.One of the countries worst affected by conflict is Yemen, where the World Bank said on Thursday it would provide $26.9 million in emergency funding to help the WHO and local authorities improve capacity for detecting, containing and treating the coronavirus.Yemen has not confirmed any coronavirus cases but is seen as especially vulnerable because a five-year conflict has brought its health system to the brink of collapse.It has already been struggling with overlapping infectious diseases including cholera, diphtheria and dengue fever, and large numbers of people have been displaced by the war.About 24 million out of a population of 29 million need humanitarian assistance. There are no doctors in 18% of the country’s districts, most healthcare workers have not been paid for at least two years, and COVID-19 testing kits are available for just 600 people, according to the World Bank.”The epidemic does pose unique public health risks in Yemen … given the already weak health system and the high vulnerability among the population,” said Marina Wes, the bank’s country director. Governments in the Middle East need to act fast to limit the spread of the coronavirus after cases rose to nearly 60,000, almost double their level a week earlier, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Thursday.”New cases have been reported in some of the most vulnerable countries with fragile health systems,” said Ahmed Al-Mandhari, the WHO’s director for the Eastern Mediterranean region, which includes Pakistan, Afghanistan, Somalia and Djibouti, as well as Middle Eastern states.”Even in countries with stronger heath systems, we have seen a worrying spike in the numbers of cases and deaths reported,” he said in a statement.center_img Outside of Iran, which has reported just over 50,000 cases, confirmed coronavirus numbers have been relatively low in the Middle East compared to Europe, the United States and Asia.But health officials fear that cases of the highly contagious respiratory illness caused by the virus are under-reported and that many countries with weak governments and health systems eroded by conflict will struggle to cope.”I cannot stress enough the urgency of the situation,” said Mandhari. “The increasing numbers of cases show that transmission is rapidly occurring at local and community levels.””We still have a window of opportunity, but this window is slowly closing day by day,” he added.last_img read more