CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WJZY) — UNC Charlotte is apologizing after a man on campus who was carrying an article of faith was briefly handcuffed by officers this week.
In an apology letter to the university, Chancellor Sharon Gaber said the university dispatch received an incoming 911 call on Thursday regarding someone who had a knife on them in the Student Union Building.
Officers responded to the scene, and while engaging with the man, he was placed in handcuffs while the officers took the object. While the university did not clarify if it was a student, he is referred to as a young man and that they want ‘every Niner to feel welcome.’
University officials said the initial investigation revealed the item was determined to be a kirpan, which is defined as a dagger or a knife that is an article of faith, and that is sometimes possessed by members of the Sikh religion.
“We are committed to ensuring it doesn’t happen again,” Gaber said in the written statement on Friday. “We will use this as a learning opportunity by engaging in constructive dialogue with Sikh students and employees.”
It is unclear at this time if the officers were members of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department and WJZY is awaiting a response and comment from the department.