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Mayor Tishaura O. Jones and SLMPD Joint Statement on Planned Protest at St. Louis University

The Jones Administration and the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department are aware of a protest planned on St. Louis University’s (SLU) campus this evening.

SLU’s campus is contained within the boundaries of the City of St. Louis and SLU does not have their own law enforcement agency. Therefore, the Mayor’s administration, SLMPD, and SLU’s administration have been in contact for the past several days to coordinate plans to ensure the safety and security of all parties involved.

Mayor Jones and SLMPD unequivocally express our support for the First Amendment right to assemble and engage in nonviolent protest. Peaceful protests will not be met with force by SLMPD. There have notably been several peaceful protests in the City of St. Louis since October that have not resulted in any action by SLMPD. This includes several protests on the issue of the Israel-Hamas war.

The St. Louis University campus is private property and SLMPD will be responsive to the requests of university leadership to maintain a safe environment. The University has a history of supporting peaceful protest and our expectation is that the protest tonight will match that precedent. We ask the entire community to recognize that the rejection of violence is central to ensuring a safe environment for all.

It remains our top priority to ensure that all members of the community are safe. In the event of physical altercations, damage to school property, or harassment of students, staff, or faculty, SLMPD officers are prepared to engage to ensure safety.

We appreciate that St. Louis University is working diligently to provide clarity to its community regarding their expectations for this evening. Peace will be with peace.

The world events that have brought us to this moment are challenging institutions and their communities across the globe to have difficult conversations. The City of St. Louis is a community capable of those conversations and prepared to engage one another in a respectful and productive dialogue.