- The Washington Times - Tuesday, December 16, 2014

A Pennsylvania police union is slamming University of Pennsylvania president Amy Gutmann after officers witnessed her participate in a “die-in” protest led by students.

Ms. Gutmann lay on the floor with student protesters after they disrupted a holiday party at her home Tuesday - their demonstration symbolizing the four hours that the body of Michael Brown remained on the street after he was shot by a police officer in Ferguson, Missouri, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported.

Police officers who were working at the party and witnessed Mr. Gutmann’s participation were “outraged,” Penn Police Association President Eric Rohrback said in a letter published by The Daily Pennsylvanian, the student newspaper.

“I am appalled that the president of this fine university would give in to the pressures of the uninformed mob mentality surrounding the Michael Brown case and participate in a ‘die-in,’ ” he wrote. “Our president is fond of calling us ‘her’ officers, and publicly states that she will always support us. To have her participate in such a disrespectful act is not, in any way, ‘support,’ and proves that she does not have the backs of ‘her’ officers. It is a slap in the face to every person that wears this uniform and serves this university.”

A Penn spokeswoman said the university wasn’t responding to the letter, but the university’s vice president for public safety, Maureen S. Rush, defended Ms. Gutmann’s participation as an act of solidarity with the students.

“I can assure you that her laying on the ground was not solidarity against police,” she told The Inquirer. “It was solidarity with students who are expressing their personal opinions. There’s not a doubt in my mind of Amy Gutmann’s loyalty and respect for law enforcement across the board and in particular the Penn police.”

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