ELIZABETH CITY, N.C. — The death of Andrew Brown Jr. last week has impacted everyone that lives in Elizabeth City, including students at Elizabeth City State University.
“We see it going on across America, and the last thing I would have thought was that it would happen right here in Elizabeth City,” Jimmy Chambers said.
Chambers is the current student government association president and one of many students who had to moved out of on campus housing earlier this week.
“I had to maneuver and make things happen,” he said.
Sunday evening, students living on campus were told they had to move out of their dorms as the city declared a local state of emergency.
Later on in the week, it was then announced that the university was housing officers from outside the city in their empty residence halls.
“I had to keep it real with them…I told them when some things happen, I find out when y’all find out,” Chambers explained.
Many students reached out to Chambers and were upset about the university’s decision, which he understands but says he also sees a bigger picture.
“If we’re trying to prosper and help this university grow to be better and bigger how would that look if we told them no but then turn around and ask them for more money to support the university,” he said.
Friday, the university announced 13 officers would be moved off campus to housing within the city.
The university also stated the decision to house these officers was made because they “operated under their mutual aid agreement at the request of the City of Elizabeth City that is consistent with our responsibility as a state agency.”
A lot has happened in the place Chambers is now calling home, but he hopes students and those in this community remember all that’s happen when it's time to hit the polls.
“Whenever it's time to vote again and these individuals are running for these same positions, make sure you remember how they reacted to this,” he said.
The university told Spectrum News 1 graduation will still take place Saturday, May 8 on campus.
A former student created a petition requesting the officers be removed from the campus. Now that officers have been moved to off campus housing, the petition has been amended to prevent police officers from utilizing facilities at Elizabeth City State University in the future.