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Debate over private police force plan for Johns Hopkins

The Dripby Brew Editors9:54 amFeb 27, 20190

Pietila “wrong” on Hopkins police force, writer argues

A JHU graduate student responds to an op-ed by the author of “Not in My Neighborhood”

Above: A Johns Hopkins medical building rises above rowhouses on Washington Street. (Mark Reutter)

Many were surprised when author Antero Pietila – who has referenced racism unsparingly in histories of Baltimore and businessman-philanthropist Johns Hopkins – came out in favor of Johns Hopkins University’s request for a private police force.

In a post responding to his op-ed in The Brew, JHU sociology graduate student Corey R. Payne says, “With respect, Mr. Pietila is wrong.”

Pietila’s own argument, Payne says on Medium, “lays bare what the opposition to this private police proposal has been saying for over a year: This is little more than a PR stunt designed to calm the fears of a largely white and out-of-state parent, alumni, and donor network.”

Payne reviews what Pietila calls JHU’s “troubled history” with East Baltimore as detailed in the op-ed and his new book, “The Ghosts of Johns Hopkins,” and argues that the former Baltimore Sun reporter should have reached a different conclusion.

Payne is a Ph.D. student in sociology and an alumnus of Johns Hopkins University.

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