UPDATE: Several Arrested in Trauma Center Protest at University of Chicago Medical Center,
Several people were arrested Sunday afternoon during a protest at the University of Chicago Medical Center.
An estimated 50 protesters occupied the hospital, demanding that an adult trauma center be opened. There are no trauma centers on the South Side of Chicago.
University of Chicago police officers decided to use force to break up the demonstration, pulling out batons and violently shoving demonstrators out the door.
Veronica Morris-Moore, 20, had planned on staying until she was arrested. She was pushed to the ground in the doorway, where she screamed: “Let me go! Let me go!”
Nastasia Tangherlini, 21, a University of Chicago student, also ended up on the ground. After a struggle with officers, both women were released.
Turner’s mother said she was shoved onto her face by a university police officer during the protests. Although not seriously injured, she was visibly upset, with tears streaming down her cheeks after she got onto her feet.
“I was just standing there,” Sheila Rush, Turner’s mom, said.
The group’s camera man had been filming the events when a university police officer hit his camera, knocking off his headphones in the process before he was handcuffed on the ground.
The protest was intended to draw attention to the lack of adult trauma centers on the city’s South Side. Victims of traumatic incidents like shooting, stabbings and car accidents must travel unnecessary and sometimes life-threatening distances to be treated.
The movement gained steam after the shooting death of Damian Turner in 2010. After being hit with a stray bullet a few blocks from the University, he had to be transported 10 miles away to a North Side hospital.
The U. of C. Medical Center – which just opened a brand new, $700 million dollar facility – says a trauma center would be too expensive.
A petition has been launched demanding that the University of Chicago explain the uncalled for police violence in response to the trauma center protest, and “and take care of those affected by it.”
Those arrested include Alex Goldenberg, Victoria Crider, Jacob Klippenstein, and Toussaint Losier:
At this moment, we are saddened and upset by the injuries to people on our own campus. We hope to maintain a proper balance between campus order and vibrant speech. So we ask the University administration to clearly explain what happened, to intervene so as to speedily resolve any outstanding legal issues by asking for any charges against the arrestees to be dropped, and to respond to commentary from the campus and surrounding community. And we ask the administration to help take care of the people harmed in the incident.
Is there any excuse for the lack of an adult trauma center on the South Side of Chicago?
Will you support the movement for a trauma center at U. of C. Medical Center?
Sound off below!