The University of Connecticut Police Department is still investigating after students vandalized the Storrs campus in response to the UConn Men’s Basketball team’s 2023 NCAA Championship win Monday night. 15 people were arrested that night, with 16 more hospitalized.
According to a message sent to the UConn community by University Safety Thursday night, police investigators have images and videos of the criminal activity taken by the university security camera system. Numerous photos and videos of possible crimes on campus can also be found on the internet and social media.
In their message, University Safety says all footage will be used to prosecute those responsible for the crimes they committed. In order to help in the identification process, investigators may resort to posting the footage online, releasing it to the public to solicit tips.
“Investigators will work to identify those who are engaged in criminal behavior,” reads the message. “As part of the identification process, it may be necessary to post images and videos online and on social media of people engaged in these acts to solicit information to help us identify those who caused damage. In many cases, the images are in high resolution and the individuals in them can be seen clearly.”
UCPD is offering students a final chance to turn themselves in or alert police of the names of people they know took part in the criminal activity Monday night.
“In advance of posting these videos and photographs, we are offering an opportunity to those who may have engaged in criminal activity to proactively contact police investigators to provide their information and describe their conduct,” the message states.
According to Captain Justin Gilbert of UCPD, the department will likely release the camera footage to the public before next week, so anyone involved has until then to contact police.
“We are looking to allow individuals responsible for the acts of vandalism and crimes about a week to report to the Police Department before we move forward with releasing photographs publicly,” Gilbert wrote in an email. “The message was originally posted requesting this information to be brought forward on Thursday, April 6, 2023. A week allows ample opportunity for those involved to consider coming forward and report that information to the police.”
According to University Safety’s message, contacting police before the release of the photos and videos does not protect someone from getting arrested.
“To be clear: this is not an amnesty program,” reads the message. “If the conduct you relate to police investigators is deemed a crime, they will apply for an arrest warrant and, if approved, you will be arrested.”
When asked about how any students involved in criminal activity would benefit from contacting police beforehand, Gilbert said it would help those students in that they would not need to have photos of their face released to the public.
“If any students are involved and come forward to the police department, it would prevent the need to release photographs to the public asking for help in identifying those responsible for these acts of vandalism and crimes,” Gilbert said.
Gilbert also said that any relevant information is helpful to the investigation, whether it is students taking responsibility for their own actions or someone informing police of another student’s criminal activity.
“We encourage anyone involved to provide information about their own actions and of actions of others involved,” added Gilbert. “Both pieces of information are helpful to the police department as the investigation continues. Students taking responsibility for their actions and identifying others involved would prevent the release of images of the unidentified individuals to the public.”
If anyone has information they would like to share with UConn Police investigators, they are asked to contact Lieutenant Peter Harris via firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 860-486-4800.