Rowan Students Held at Gunpoint by Cops, Say They Don’t Feel Safe
GLASSBORO — Rowan University will hold an open discussion on Friday about an incident in which two students were wrongly identified and held at gunpoint by police.
Glassboro Police were looking for a car involved in the robbery at a store in a strip mall two blocks from the Rowan campus on Monday afternoon, according to campus spokesman Dr. Joe Cardona. They stopped what they thought was the car on campus and ordered the occupants out of the car.
The students, an black man and woman, both age 20, got out of their car and were greeted by several officers with their guns drawn and pointed at them. They were cuffed and searched, and after no weapons were found and officers realized they did not have their suspects.
A number of students and faculty took video of incident and posted to social media.
Cardona said the pair complied with the officers but were traumatized by the incident, which has sparked conversation on the Gloucester County campus "about race relations, specifically in the area of law enforcement."
He said there was also concern about "mental distress" triggered by video of the incident.
The campus wellness center was available for counseling. He also said that school supports the action of the officers.
The two students, whose identities Cardona did not disclose, reached out to the campus Student Government Association for "support and recourse."
NBC Philadelphia identified the students as Altaif Hsasan, a senior from Trenton and Giovanna Roberson, a freshman from Cherry Hill.
Hassan later posted on his Facebook page that he did not feel safe on campus.
"I can’t keep quiet like my voice doesn’t matter. I’m pressing hard. If you believe in the cause, share it for the culture. Everyone gotta know this kind of harassment needs to stop.”
Cardona said a town hall meeting is scheduled for Friday morning called "Rowan Unites To Support the Human Experience" in the student center. Cardona said there is no formal agenda except to have a discussion about the incident.
Glassboro police have not yet issued a statement on he incident.