LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - University of Louisville President Neeli Bendapudi issued an apology to the Cardinal family Thursday after an emergency RAVE alert was sent to students about a “black man in a red hoodie” wanted by police.
“The work of anti-racism requires thoughtful reflection and intentional action," Bendapundi said. “It requires us to acknowledge when we have erred and to do better when we know better.”
Students received the alert at 2:20 a.m. Thursday. It read, “A black male wearing a red hoodie ran from Clark County Indiana Police on I-65 and is possibly on campus. If you see someone matching this description – please call ULPD or LMPD.”
Soon after the alert was sent, many criticized the vague alert on social media. Many said it was “racial profiling,” “reckless,” and endangered black men on campus.
“So what if I decided I wanted to wear a red hoodie,” UofL Sophomore Jaaylyn Mack said. “If I got arrested, you’re going to frisk me?”
“Just because we fit the description, we’re going to automatically be stopped,” UofL sophomore Chris Nucklos said. “So honestly I don’t think what they said was right.”
A university spokesperson told WAVE 3 News the alert was unapproved and was mistakenly released.
President Bendapundi’s full state is as follows:
"The work of anti-racism requires thoughtful reflection and intentional action. It requires us to acknowledge when we have erred and to do better when we know better.
This morning a RAVE Alert went out asking our campus to be on the lookout for a Black male in a red hoodie.
That is not an anti-racist statement. While the description may have been true, it is too vague to be of any help and it perpetuates negative stereotypes (especially on a campus whose colors are red and black and whose student population is proudly more than 12% Black) that make some members of our campus community targets. There is no excuse for that.
I extend to each and every member of our campus community, particularly those that were further negatively traumatized by this alert, my most sincere apologies. I am sorry. I have instructed my team to follow up to ensure this does not happen again. We will do better."
UofL Chief of Police Gary Lewis also issued the following apology on Twitter: