UAH students call for release of police video in controversial traffic stop

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — A UAH student group is calling on the university president to release video of a controversial traffic stop involving 17-year-old Caleb Crutcher.

“I love UAH enough that I want to see it become the best that it can be, and never have I had a moment where I felt unsafe on campus until I read that article by Mrs. Crutcher,” said UAH Chargers for Change organizer Trenton Draper.

Chargers for Change sent a letter to UAH President Darren Dawson with a list of actions that the group said it wants to see in response to the Oct. 3 traffic stop. The group also held a peaceful protest on campus on Monday which was observed by the UAH President, University administrators and faculty.

“We just want the day to come that we all fee safe and that we all feel that our university is standing up and holding up to its values,” said Draper.

Crutcher’s mother said campus police pulled him over on Sparkman Drive for a cracked tail light and searched him and his vehicle. She said they also asked him repeatedly if he was high or had drugs. He was ultimately released without a citation or warning.

On Monday Dawson said he met with the teen and his family and apologized for the incident, which happened after the teen had left his work. He also said “corrective actions” had been taken and said police would undergo additional training and have their policies and procedures reviewed.

“It was just a lot of nice phrases with very little substance,” said Draper of the University statement.

Chargers for Change’s letter calls for increased training as well, but goes further and asks that the officers involved in the stop be fired. Among other things, the group said it also wants the video of the stop released, and asked for UAH Police Chief Michael Snellgrove to “openly take accountability for his role in the creation and perpetuation of the environment that at best condoned, and at worst encouraged, the unacceptable behavior perpetrated by members of the UAH Police Department in a public forum.”

Draper said University administrators expressed interest during Tuesday’s peaceful protest in meeting with students in the next two weeks to hear their concerns.

News 19 has repeatedly requested for a UAH official to sit down for an on-camera interview and so far our requests continue to be denied.

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