A University of Virginia fraternity came under fire Thursday after it hosted a "cops and robbers" party -- an event a student group said mocked mass incarceration -- but the frat turned the tables on protesters, calling the real police to complain about trespassing.
UVa Students United wrote on Facebook they shut down the Delta Psi frat house party Thursday because the event “made a joke of systems that kill and brutalize marginalized communities.”
The student group, which described itself on Facebook as “a coalition of students from around the university community taking direct action and organizing for a more accessible, democratic and inclusive UVa,” said police were called after the fraternity claimed the protesters were trespassing.
“Last night, a group of about twenty or so students shut down a 'cops and robbers' themed date function at the Hall, a fraternity on campus. This came after about an hour of confrontation between the students and party-goers, culminating in the frat calling the police on the students, on the grounds of trespassing,” UVa Students United wrote on Facebook. “The predominantly white members of this fraternity got to take their costumes off at the end of the night, people trapped in the prison system do not."
The group said frat members were wearing orange jumpsuits, bandannas and chains and drew tattoos on themselves. Female party-goers wore “sexy cop” costumes.
“Historically, the police have justified violence against people of color in the name of protecting white women, and in wearing these costumes, these women made a joke of that legacy of violence,” the group wrote.
The group said many of the party’s attendants said they did not mean “to offend or hurt anyone” but the group said that mindset is “the kind of willful ignorance that allows white supremacy to continue.”
The group mentioned the deadly protests in the university’s city, Charlottesville, last month when a woman protesting white supremacy was killed after a car drove into a crowd. Varying groups -- which included white supremacists -- had gathered in the city to demonstrate against the removal of a Robert E. Lee statue at a Charlottesville park.
“After a summer of terror and violence instigated by white supremacist groups in Charlottesville, it’s at the very least disappointing that members of the UVA community would be so willing to make a joke of systems that kill and brutalize marginalized communities,” the post concluded.
Henry Crochiere, a student at the school and Inter-Fraternity Council president, told Cavalier Daily he was told of the incident after the fraternity’s president contacted him to help resolve the situation.
“A group of protesters were in the front yard requesting that the private date function be shut down due to the insensitive ‘cops and robbers’ theme of the party,” Crochiere told Cavalier Daily. “After trying to have a dialogue between the fraternity members and the protesters, it was determined that it would be best to call the police to help facilitate conversation and make sure there was order.”
Crochiere recognized some of the school’s members may have been offended by the party’s theme.
“The Inter-Fraternity Council acknowledges that the theme, while not overtly reprehensible, is potentially offensive to members of the community,” Crochiere said. “As a result, we thought it was best to end the party and other Delta Psi events planned for the weekend in order to reevaluate the situation.”
Crochiere added that the fraternity did not mean to offend anyone with the party’s theme and hoped “all parties can connect in the coming weeks and have a discussion” about the incident.
Delta Psi and UVa Students United did not immediately respond to Fox News' request for comment.