Around 70 Protesters Arrested At SUNY Purchase

Around 70 students and faculty members were taken into custody during pro-Palestine protests at a college in Westchester.

Purchase College has been named one of the top ten public schools in the nation by U.S. News & World Report.

Purchase College has been named one of the top ten public schools in the nation by U.S. News & World Report.

Photo Credit: Google Maps street view

The arrests were made at Purchase College on Thursday night, May 2 after protesters refused to leave the campus once quiet hours began, according to the school's Assistant Director of Public Relations Betsy Aldredge. 

According to Aldredge, the events leading up to the arrests began earlier on Thursday, when students peacefully protested for several hours while following the college's rules for maintaining order. 

Several outsiders and non-students were turned away from the campus throughout the day, but many are believed to have snuck back to join the protests. 

After the college's quiet hours began around 10 p.m., protesters were ordered more than ten times to leave by campus police and other local police forces at the scene. Those who refused to disperse after several warnings were then arrested for trespass violations without incident, Aldredge said.

Around 70 students and faculty members were arrested and brought to local precincts for processing, as the University Police Department could not hold such a large amount of people, Aldredge added. 

As the investigation into the incident continues, a few of those arrested may face additional charges. Additionally, students will be going through a code of conduct process, according to Aldredge. 

More information about the protests and those arrested was not released. 

In response to the arrests, the Westchester-Putnam Chapter of the New York Working Families Party released a statement on Friday, May 3 saying they did not need to happen.

"We condemn the violent arrests of SUNY Purchase students and faculty, who were peacefully protesting the devastating war in Gaza," said Jennifer Cabrera and Peter Bernstein, who added, "There is no justification for George Latimer and Kathy Hochul to involve county and state police when students were exercising their First Amendment rights in a peaceful manner."

"We stand in solidarity with students and faculty, call for any charges to be dropped, and urge an independent investigation into the inappropriate use of force against the students," Cabrera and Bernstein added. 

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