Officer claims he was discriminated against for carrying gun at Loyola

Officer claims he was discriminated against for carrying gun at Loyola
Published: Dec. 9, 2016 at 10:10 PM CST
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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - A Jefferson Parish sergeant said he was discriminated against by a fellow student at Loyola University because he showed up to class in uniform with a gun on his holster.

For eight years, Josh Collins has attended the Uptown school. Working as a sergeant in the Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office, Collins said he normally attends class in plainclothes, but Wednesday, he was too busy to change.

He wrote on Facebook, "Obviously, being in police uniform, I was armed."

"I don't have a problem with police officers coming in the class with a gun, it actually makes me feel a little bit safer," Loyola student Jordan Jacob said.

But that is not how one student in Collins' class reacted.

He wrote, "A fellow classmate complained to the professor of their uncomfortableness of having an armed police officer in the class."

He continued on that the professor called police, who, according to Collins, told the professor Collins was perfectly within the law to be armed.

"I think it was the professor trying to take control of the situation, trying to make the student feel okay," Loyola student Nicholas Morea said.
But the professor's actions did not make Collins feel okay.

He wrote online, "How ironical and dumbfounding is it that you called the police to tell them that there was a police officer sitting in your class."

He also said, "I feel as though O must hide my profession in order to obtain a fair education."

The students FOX 8 spoke to Friday all agree, everyone should feel free to get an education, no matter the circumstances.

According to his Facebook account, Collins studies criminal justice at Loyola.

The university says it apologized to Collins and "unequivocally" supports police and military.

In a statement Loyola said:

"An unfortunate misunderstanding occurred on our campus this week regarding a student who works in law enforcement. This misunderstanding was driven in part by the fact that the officer was wearing standard SWAT fatigues that were not recognizable to professor and students as a law enforcement uniform and in part by heightened awareness regarding recent gun violence and campus shootings."

FOX 8 reached out to the JPSO, who chose not to comment.

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