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FAMU, FSU release statements regarding potential Inauguration Day violence

Florida State Capitol
Posted at 12:02 PM, Jan 15, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-15 16:32:56-05

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — In letters to students, faculty, and staff leaders at Florida A&M University and Florida State University addressed the concerns of violence ahead of President-elect Joe Biden's Inauguration Day.

William Hudson, Jr., FAMU Vice President of Student Affairs, wrote in a letter to the FAMU community Friday warning of gatherings specifically happening on Jan. 17.

"For safety reasons, we ask faculty, staff, and students to refrain from visiting or traveling near any state capitol on Jan. 17, 2021," wrote Hudson.

The letter also focused on the 'superspreader' possibility of such large protests could cause, and the threat of having more COVID-19 cases being brought to campus.

Hudson gave instructions in case the protests extend to the FAMU campus, writing that students will be notified and that they "are to remain in their rooms with doors closed and locked."

He ended the letter by asking the FAMU community to not engage with protestors and to report and suspicious or violent behavior to FAMU Police.

Terence Calloway, FAMU Assistant Vice President of Safety and Chief of Police, says they're working with local and state law enforcement agencies.

"Particularly here at FAMU, what we've done here is we've increased our manpower for this weekend," Calloway said. "We've added additional officers. We've requested that they come in on their days off. We've also activated our mutual aid agreement."

Calloway says there have been no credible threats made against the campus.

If anything were to happen, administrators say they will notify students and faculty by email and text.

The full FAMU letter can be viewed by clicking here.

FSU President John Thrasher and FSU Police Chief Terri Brown did not mention the potential for a COVID-19 super spreader event but did also mention the university's response to potential threats of violence leading up to Jan. 20 in a joint letter released Thursday.

"We understand your concerns and want to assure you that the safety and security of the campus community is our highest priority," said the joint letter.

The letter also revealed that FSUPD has been made aware of plans for several peaceful protests in the Tallahassee area during the week of the Inauguration.

Thrasher and Chief Brown did not specify which protests they were referring to in the letter.

"While we believe these protests will remain peaceful, FSUPD will increase its presence on and around the main campus in Tallahassee throughout the week," the letter said.

The letter concluded with a call to the FSU community to stay vigilant and be safe.

The full FSU letter can be viewed by clicking here.