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Mayor calls on NU to pay for police protest overtime

Hagerty says overtime costs could reach hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Steve Hagerty.

Evanston Mayor Steve Hagerty, in a letter today to Northwestern University President Morton Schapiro, called on the school to pay for overtime cost for city police responding to a month-long series of student-led anti-police protests.

The protests led to violence on city streets late Saturday and vandalism during a protest on Saturday night two weeks ago.

“This 30-day protest is costing tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of dollars in overtime, which I anticipate NU will cover,” Hagerty wrote.

“Our residents do not support protesters who are marching through the streets of Evanston at night throwing bricks, stones or other objects at police officers, shooting fireworks in their direction and intentionally damaging and defacing pubic property, all while hiding behind umbrellas and lasers aimed at the eyes of police officers,” Hagerty’s letter continues.

“Protesters are not helping their cause by putting officers’ safety at risk and defacing and damaging public property,” he added.

However, the mayor said, “I, like you, want to know that these protesters are safe. It is always on my mind that the protester is someone’s child, and whether I agree or disagree with their efforts, they deserve to protest safely.”

“Likewise,” he wrote, ” I have a tremendous amount of respect for the officers who are keeping our sons and daughters safe, as well as protecting the property of our entrepreneurs and business owners.”

“My expectation,” he told Schapiro, “is that your administration will remind these Northwestern organizers that officers also have families and their safety is as important as the safety of the protesters.”

“Our city,” he added, “will continue to arrest anyone who is seen harming or threatening harm to police officers, as well as damaging or defacing public property.”

Last month Schapiro condemned the disruption and vandalism seen in the protests seeking abolition of the school’s police department.

Schapiro said that while the university intends to improve its police department, “we have absolutely no intention to abolish it.”

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