ANCHORAGE (AP) - The University of Alaska Anchorage police
department is investigating complaints that an officer pointed a
gun at several students and screamed at them while searching a
dorm for a suicidal man.
A letter signed by 22 residents of North Hall was sent to the
campus Police Department and UAA officials Friday. The acting
police chief and a residential dorm employee met with some of the
The residents requested an investigation of the incident, an
explanation of what happened, and an apology from the officer.
Their letter states, "We are fearful that another undertrained
cop, who is put in a position of authority to protect us, could
snap under the stress of his or her job, and put our lives in
Police received a call about 5 a.m. March 10 that a man was
wandering North Hall with a knife threatening to kill himself.
Three officers responded, Sands said. They found several suite
doors propped open and entered to search them.
Clinton Brown, a 17-year-old freshman who composed the letter,
said two of the officers "respectfully" and "politely" knocked on
doors and asked residents for their identification. Their guns
were drawn but pointed toward the floor, Brown said, and they
quickly explained the situation.
Other residents, however, reported much different contacts with
another officer, he said. The letter states that officer kicked in
doors and screamed, "Are in you in there?" and "Come out with your
When one resident emerged, "There was a cop pointing (a)
pistol, with finger ready to fire, straight at his chest,"
according to the letter.
Sgt. Ron Sands said officers did find the suicidal man, who
apparently was visiting his ex-girlfriend in North Hall when he
became distraught. Police took him to Alaska Psychiatric
"The situation was not being explained to the students at the
time," Sands said. "Officers were concerned about finding the
individual with the knife. They might have been concentrating more
on that than relaying the information."