UChicago Alumni President Goes to Court Today for Kicking and Punching Peaceful Trauma Center Activist

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NEW Video shows Alumni attacking protestors (click here for video)

CHICAGO, IL – a University of Chicago Medical Alumni Association President will go to court today for punching trauma center activists at a protest last month.

A Press Conference will be held today, July 10th, 8:30 a.m., at 5101 South Wentworh Avenue, prior to the 9:00 a.m. court hearing.

The incident occurred at a protest where activists calling for the University of Chicago to open a trauma center rallied at an Alumni Awards Ceremony and disrupted University President Robert Zimmer’s speech.

The video shows an alum walking out of the disrupted awards ceremony, charging a student videographer, grabbing the camera, and then kicking and later punching activists. Activists were forced to block traffic to stop the alum from fleeing the scene and to ensure that he was arrested.

The arrested alum is Russ Zajtchuk, who graduated from the College in 1960 and from the Medical School in 1963. He has occupied the position of President of the Medical & Biological Sciences Alumni Association. Zatchuk is being charged with a battery.

Dan Lichtenstein-Boris a University of Chicago Alum who witnessed the attack said that “the violence of this Alum toward peaceful protesters is just as wrong as the violence University President Zimmer shows by refusing to open a trauma center and save black lives on the south side”.

This court date coincides with the court date for 9 trauma center protesters who were arrested, days before this incident at the University of Chicago Administration Building, while holding a peaceful sit-in. The University of Chicago Police charged the 9 activists with resisting arrest, criminal trespassing, and mob action.

Trauma center activists are demanding that:

·       UofC open a level one adult trauma center now

·       UofC raise the age of the Level 1 pediatric trauma center care to 21

·       UofC President Zimmer set a meeting with the Trauma Care Coalition

·       UofC include community input in the current trauma center feasibility study

·       UofC agree to a community benefits agreement on the Obama Library

The community’s demand for trauma care was sparked by the death of Woodlawn youth leader Damian Turner, and is led by Fearless Leading by the Youth, the Kenwood-Oakland Community Organization, Students for Health Equity at the UofC, the Jewish Council on Urban Affairs, National Nurses United and many faith groups including the University Church and Kenwood Church of Christ.

The South Side is currently a trauma desert for adults, meaning that victims of shootings and other serious injuries must be taken over ten miles away, to the Near North Side or south west suburbs. The call for trauma care is also supported by a new study by the Illinois Department of Public Health which states that longer travel times to a trauma center increases the likelihood of dying, the study also states that the U of C is best positioned to expand access to trauma care, and that the U of C could further raise the age limit of their pediatric trauma center.

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