UIW Student President’s Open Letter Regarding the Shooting of Cameron Redus

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University of the Incarnate Word. Photo by Iris Dimmick.

Administrative building at the University of the Incarnate Word. Photo by Iris Dimmick.

I recently had the opportunity to read through the autopsy report released by the Bexar County Medical Examiner last Thursday. The report’s findings provide new insight into the brutal nature of the shooting of UIW Student Cameron Redus outside of his Alamo Heights apartment complex. Shooting an unarmed student in the back illustrates a serious breach of police protocol.

[Read More: Autopsy Report Raises Troubling Questions in Fatal Shooting of UIW Student]

It is imperative that the administration takes these findings into consideration and realizes that reinstating UIW Cpl. Christopher Carter would be a huge injustice and would pose a lingering danger to the students and the community. The administration should also consider the long-term liabilities that this poses to the students and faculty of this university if Carter harms any other person in the future. His immediate dismissal would safeguard the students, faculty, and the staff. No student should ever be fearful of their campus police, especially during a routine traffic stop.

I have a tremendous amount of respect for police officials, such as SAPD and AHPD, and I appreciate all that they do on a daily basis to keep us safe. It is because of this admiration for proper law enforcement and well-trained officers that I believe it’s necessary to seriously rethink our campus safety policies and work for reform across the board. After all, Cameron would still be alive had Officer Carter simply exercised better judgment.

The UIW faculty, staff, the provost’s office, and the Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word have strived for years to create a safe and harmonious environment for the students of this university. I greatly appreciate their continuing efforts to improve this historic institution. It is these enduring actions that first inspired me to attend UIW. This administration’s response to this incident threatens to undermine all their years of hard work.

Truth is one of the core values of this university. The fact that UIW’s administration has released multiple contradictory statements regarding this incident – as well as the actions and deliberations in its aftermath – makes it very difficult to believe that they are taking the concerns of the student body seriously. It also makes it difficult to trust any of their future statements.

I believe that through the actions of our community, students, faculty, alumni, and the Sisters of Charity, we will be able to come together to make UIW a safer place for future generations of Cardinals. If you are interested in further voicing your opinion about this matter, I urge you to contact UIW Chancellor Dr. Denise Doyle at denised@uiwtx.edu or UIW President Dr. Lou Agnese at agnese@uiwtx.edu.

RELATED STORIES:

An Open Letter to UIW from the Redus Family

UIW and its Students Struggle with an Unresolved Tragedy

Two Senseless Shootings Shake San Antonio in This Season of Good Will

9 thoughts on “UIW Student President’s Open Letter Regarding the Shooting of Cameron Redus

  1. I am shocked also by the execution style shot through the student’s head. I wonder if that officer was looking for trouble. What a tragedy he has visited upon the Redus family & IWC students.

    • This UIC Campus Cop whose duties are closer to a “Glorified Security Officer” in daily service regardless of title, rather than a Municipal Police Officer who routinely deals with this type of scenario daily.
      Acceptance of the Job offer at a Faith based School to Protect, Educate and Serve University Students and if he was so fearful for his Life while Serving them, then he was the wrong individual for this type of “Student Policing” as he should of known he was dealing with a typical College Student and not hardened Inmates or Gang members.
      1. Utilize Use of Force Scale or Wait for backup !
      Bad Driving should never end in an Execution.
      The correct response now by the faith based University would be to terminate employment and severe all ties based on the harm done their schools reputation and students done by this Campus Officer.
      There can be no Future Faith in This Officer after killing a Student regardless…..Educate them not kill them.
      The 1st Commandment………… is thou shall not kill………..

  2. I am a UIW student. First I have to say the shooting death of Cameron was very tragic and I agree with the fact that it is odd that Cameron was shot in the back, hip and eye. Should the officer be reinstated? I don’t know. Is it common for campus police officers and officers of small towns to move around a lot? Yes. Has any of his former employees reported an issue working with him or his discipline? No.

    However I do not think you are being 100% fair here. Good journalism is showing both sides of the story. Cameron was BOTH high and drunk when he was shot. Indicating that he potentially caused a great scene or disturbance in front of the officer. After all he was being perused due to the fact that he was driving erratically and at an excessive rate of speed. His own friends have finally admitted he was bar hopping the night of the incident. I find it funny not a single one of your blaring statements on Facebook or anywhere else admit that Cameron was wrong to drive drunk. What about all the lives he put in danger that night? Or those don’t matter? What about the fact that he purposely violated the student conduct rules of our university regarding no illegal substances?

    All I have heard from your side is the ripping apart of our universities administration. The majority of your statements regarding them are wrong. They have repeatedly said they are awaiting results into the investigation. They have shown nothing but respect for Cameron’s family. Let’s conveniently forget to mention the fact that the officer told Cameron 56 TIMES (which was recorded by his lapel mike, no way to edit or enhance) to stop and put his hands on his car. Let’s conveniently forget the fact that Cameron’s screaming and causing a disturbance is what woke up a few of the residents of the apartment complex to look outside, not the officer’s words.

    Having an interest in police work I have done several ride-alongs with SAPD, and until you are in that situation yourself along with the officer you cannot simply sit at a keyboard and act as if you know what occurred or what the officer was feeling at the moment. It is their job to keep us safe, and while Cameron’s death was tragic he was intoxicated and high and driving on our roadways. I wonder if he would be so gloriously upheld had he died that night after hitting a minivan with children inside it.

    I think it’s time you start showing respect to our university. They have been more than open with the students, all of my professors have openly discussed the incident and even told us where we can find someone to talk to if we needed to. They have allowed a number of vigils and gatherings in Cameron’s honor, even allowing us to miss class to attend. They even were respectful during the meeting a couple of weeks ago, UNLIKE some of the so called supporters of Cameron’s. Yes I was there.

    As sad as this story is, I’m sure in the end Cameron’s legacy will be washed away by his parents filing a civil lawsuit against our school, because after all, money is the great equalizer correct?

    The saddest part of this is that Cameron would most certainly still be alive if he wouldn’t have broken our student conduct policy and if he had not broken the law of our city, ensuring he was engaged by police. He himself caused the interaction with the officer, he did not deserve to die. But the officer does not deserve to be crucified either. After all we are supposed to be a Christian university are we not? That is what is so sad to me, the way your group has acted, with hate, and the way you have spread lies and gossip about our school. I hope people understand just because you are student body president does not mean you speak for all of us. Some of us believe in personal accountability, which should have been practiced that night all the way around.

    • How do you explain the guns shots to his back and the eye that was pretty much execution style? They were pointed Down at a close range.

      And I too was at the meeting and youre telling me and everybody that you liked the answers of what Administration said?

      Christian University like you said…..so why didnt he wait for back up? Why couldn’t he despatch the right location? It’s down the street from UIW. Cameron parked perfectly at his parking spot at his apartment not harming anybody. Why couldn’t Carter just take his license plate number and wait for back up. No, Carter wanted to get involved and after the altercation he shot him execution style . Read the report.

      As far as the reports from UIW, they have been contradicting themselves even CNN and Fox News agreed and they don’t agree on anything. Read from Day 1 till now you’ll see. UIW even hid Agnese’s statement on their website. You had to really try to look for it if you want to read it.

      Also, I have been on ride alongs here in SA but because I’m seriously interested in police work I didn’t just stick to SAPD, Ive been in ride Houston, Oakland, Baltimore and in Los Angeles and yes it can get crazy and you do see what Policemen go through and it can be really stressful. Things I saw will be in my mind forever but you know what? They were all FIT and can take down a Drunk. I saw it with my own eyes and some even had guns with them. They still took him down without shooting him and that was in Baltimore. And if you are gonna compare these cities or just your SAPD ride along to a piece officer thats at a private Catholic University that was coming back from Whataburger in Alamo Heights then you go some problems. You should go on a ride along with piece officer see how “stressful that is” at our school and see how that is.

      And Respectful at the meeting a few weeks ago? Do you not remember when a student asked about officer Duncan, RIP, who was overweight and she asked if he was fit to protect her life and Dr. Doyle said, “well what i can say to that is that he is Dead.” When students wanted her to elaborate she said students and faculty are overweight also. How is that respectful?

      Im glad you are voicing your opinion its America thats whats great and I encourage you.

      Also I encourage you to do other ride alongs in different cities if you are really interested police work and if you can’t make it to the cities north or west at least go to Houston its not that far.

      Cheers Mate

    • And if he were your boyfriend? Your brother? Your nephew? Your son? Your friend? Would you be so quick to cite poor journalism treatment of this tragedy when you yourself don’t have facts straight? (For one minor example, a “trace” of marijuana can be in a person’s system from being in the same room with the smoke. If he had actually used it and been “high” when he was killed, there would be much more than a “trace.” And you need to check your spelling.) Would you be so willing to GLOSS over so much? Big deal — you have ridden with police officers. Carter isn’t a police officer. He is an itinerant campus security cop. Real POLICE OFFICERS would have handled this whole situation much differently. And in case you haven’t learned this yet from the real world, when organizations want to get rid of people who are bad fits in their jobs, they unload them by reporting untainted employment histories to the next employer. I have three nephews who are POLICE OFFICERS and they all say there are serious problems with this entire case. I know this family personally, for over 35 years, and your insinuation that this is all about money — this is the biggest example of your speaking from total and complete ignorance. If you knew anything — especially about this family — you would be ashamed. It is about money, but from the University’s side. Check your own facts.

  3. Hello, Readers:
    We’ve had a lot of passionate responses to this article in particular. I’d like to remind our readers that if your comment contains vulgar language, personal insults, or unfounded/wild accusations, it will not be approved. You are encouraged to carry out a dialogue and disagree with one another, but we have to draw the line somewhere. Email me at iris@rivardreport.com if you’ve any questions.

    Thanks for reading!

    Cheers,
    –Iris Dimmick
    Managing Editor

  4. Hello! First off, I did not know Cameron well, but his tragic death is an eye opener to how poor our campus security is. First off, my opinion on this shooting is WAS IT NECESSARY? Yesterday, I turned on the news and I saw headlines saying that there was a man who was attempting to rob a store, had a gun, and was pointing it at officers ready to shoot. But what did the police do? Did they shoot him? NO. They TASERED him. This person was a criminal and he not only did not get shot, but he lived. Cameron was NOT a criminal. I have good friends who were his best friends. They tell me that this kid did not have a mean bone in his body. Let’s say that that night Cameron had too much to drink and he was high as a kite and he did attack that officer. Cameron didn’t even have a gun. Why didn’t the officer have a taser to knock Cameron out? Or why didn’t he hit cameron in the head with the butt of his gun? I can understand fear and I know that it can mess with judgment. But if you know someone is drunk (like this cop is saying) then goodness! Their judgement is messed up anyways so just knock them out! His shooting was pointless, but let’s just say that the officer felt that in that moment he could only shoot Cameron to stop his advances… why didn’t he just shoot him in the foot? In my opinion, if I am shot in the foot sober I would stop whatever I am doing and just focus on the pain. It’s human nature.
    I would like to say that I am a resident at Incarnate Word and I have been for almost 2 years. I have some friends who work across the highway at Incarnate Word High School where UIW PD is also in effect. There, it is against the rules to own pepper spray!!! As in you get fined and in a load of trouble if caught with it!! So you are telling me that if a resident would feel more comfortable (a minor at that ) carrying pepper spray since they are close to downtown you would tell them no? Let me tell you that I know of two events already that have happened close to that high school. I personally have walked on the UIW Sky Bridge several times and there have been occasions where I felt happy to have my pepper spray in my back pocket. Once, there was a couple sitting on the bridge smoking pot. They were quite high to the point where I could hear them saying things about flying (thank goodness for the fencing around bridge). Another time, there was a homeless man sleeping on the bridge and he frightened me so much that I actually turned my jog around (this was 8 pm at night). Another time, there were two sketchy looking men on the bridge in their late 40s perhaps and it looked like they were making a deal of some kind. They glared at me and I pulled my pepper spray out ready to spray as I walked past (I only pulled it out after they glared so do not accuse me of making them glare before hand). Finally, I can say that the little pocket area where the high school and bridge meets is a place that anyone could get abducted from. ESPECIALLY in the dark. I don’t know if the kids in the residence hall at the high school have curfews or not, but let’s say a kid is walking on the skybridge at 7:00 at night and they see the two sketchy men who look as if they belong to a gang. These kids are not allowed to have pepper spray, so what do they do? How are we creating a safe environment for these kids?
    As for main campus, I never felt safe going to work at 6 am in the morning because I felt that if I cried for help no one would hear me. What do I mean by this? Well, in front of the admin building, there is an officer shack and I personally have passed it several times seeing it empty. This should always have an officer or two at all times! I will say cudos to UIW PD for asking for student IDs when people come out from a late night. That does make me feel safe so thank you, however, your late night may not coincide with ours. I know several people get frustrated because the gate next to the sky room is closed at 11:00 pm. I’m assuming this gate is being closed because they don’t want anyone coming in accept through the Broadway entrance. This is crazy! I find it to be a lazy tactic and although I say thank you for the protection on Broadway, do the police not know that people drive over the green lawn to get to Hildebrand anyways? Therefore, please get a guard shack by this entrance too so we actually don’t have to go out of our way to get back to our dorms.
    I would like to end by saying that I have to utmost respect for police. However, I do not have respect for people who take the easy way and who cut corners. I feel that this officer involved with Cameron’s shooting was taking the easy way out by just shooting instead of using resources and tactics that they teach in police academy. I think more people will be able to move on if the university finds a way to make the campus safe in a more modern way (the locking up of the gate on Hildebrand is ridiculous) and a more safe way (no more shooting unless necessary). Please get the officers tasers and please allow those poor IWHS kids to have pepper spray. And by doing all of this, we won’t have any more families with broken hearts such as the Redus family.
    Thank You.

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