Manchester University suspends security guards after claims of racial profiling | Education

The University of Manchester has launched an investigation and suspended some security guards after a student alleged that he was racially profiled.

Footage posted on social media on Sunday night showed security officers detaining a student against a wall while demanding his identification.

The young man can be heard saying: “I’m a University of Manchester student. They’re trying to snatch my card out of me. You see, I take this racial profiling.”

A friend of the student who witnessed the incident told the Guardian that the “security guards decided that he didn’t look like he belonged in the area” and that three of them cited “the drug dealing happening on campus”.

They “pinned him up against the wall without giving him a chance to get his ID out,” she said.

The incident is understood to have happened at the University of Manchester’s Fallowfield halls of residence, which was the focus of protests earlier this month when metal barriers were installed because of concerns about people breaching the Covid-19 lockdown.

The footage shows the student and his friends protesting against his treatment by the security guards, who walk off after reviewing his university identification. One tells the student: “When you showed your card, you covered your face up – that’s all.”

Another of the student’s friends, however, said he had been “pinned against a wall 10 metres from his flat because he looked like a ‘drug dealer’. Other members of staff told him not to ‘play the race card’.

“This university needs to do better. First we’re locked in like animals, and now we’re being stereotyped and physically assaulted outside our own flats, that we are paying to live in, by the people that are paid to keep us safe.”

The University of Manchester said: “We are deeply concerned by these images. We have spoken to the student concerned, launched a full investigation and have suspended the security officers (without prejudice) pending the results of this investigation.”

The university has been the subject of fierce criticism over its handling of the coronavirus restrictions, which resulted in a protest involving hundreds of students earlier this month. The university has apologised and launched a review into its decision to install metal fencing around the Fallowfield accommodation, at a cost of £11,000.

https://www.theguardian.com/education/2020/nov/15/manchester-student-alleges-he-was-racially-profiled-by-security-guards

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