Georgia Department of Public Safety (DPS) Public Information Officer Courtney Lund confirmed in an email to The Emory Wheel that the Emory University Police Department (EPD) put out the call for assistance that Georgia State Patrol (GSP) troopers responded to due to an “unlawful encampment” on the morning of April 25. GSP troopers are a division of DPS.

This comes amid a University investigation into the events of April 25, including who called GSP to the scene. At a University Senate meeting on April 30, University President Gregory Fenves said that “EPD did not call for the Georgia State Patrol” to break up the encampment, but the department did call troopers for help later that day after a protest outside the Candler School of Theology became “violent.” A week later during a May 6 webinar open to the University community, Fenves said that he still did not know who called GSP to campus.

“EPD needed support and that support was provided,” Fenves said during the May 6 webinar.

When asked if EPD directly contacted GSP as opposed to sending a general request for assistance, Lund declined to provide further information, instead instructing the Wheel to contact EPD. However, Director of Campus Safety Communications Morieka Johnson (94C) and Assistant Vice President of University Communications Laura Diamond declined to confirm Lund’s claims or provide information beyond the University’s previous communications.

Georgia State Patrol and Emory Police Department officers detain individual at April 25 protest. (Jack Rutherford/News Editor)

Atlanta Police Department (APD) Public Affairs Director Chata Spikes said that Emory “deployed” GSP. She added that although APD informed GSP about the encampment for “informational purposes,” APD did not call the troopers for assistance on the morning of April 25. Instead, APD only responded to a request from EPD to secure Emory’s campus, according to an APD press release.

The April 25 encampment ended with GSP, APD and EPD arresting 28 individuals and clearing the encampment that pro-Palestinian demonstrators constructed on the Emory Quadrangle. During the April 30 University Senate meeting, Fenves said that he decided to not allow the encampment to continue, but EPD decided how to end the protest.

Lund added that EPD was the lead agency during the incident and GSP’s role was to support EPD to “secure the university grounds.”  

“DPS was acting in support as they would if a call for assistance was received from any other law enforcement agency,” Lund wrote

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Spencer Friedland (26C) is from Long Island, New York and is the Emory Wheel's Managing News Editor. He is a Philosophy, Politics and Law major and has a secondary major in Film. Spencer is also a part of the Franklin Fellows program at Emory.