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University of Utah Police

Credit Cami Mondeaux / KUER

More than a year after the murder of University of Utah track star Lauren McCluskey, the Salt Lake City institution has faced criticism for the way it handled the case and what it has and hasn’t done since her October 2018 death.

This summer, the McCluskey family filed a $56 million civil rights lawsuit against the university and officers involved in the case. The university then came under fire for the way it responded to the lawsuit in its motion to dismiss. It’s legal defense suggested that the institution is not constitutionally required to protect its students from campus visitors. 

The Utah Attorney General’s Office, which is representing the university, said that the legal defense did not mean the school is ignoring its responsibility to student safety. 

In December, the university announced that it had hired New York University’s senior vice president of public safety Marlon Lynch to be the U’s first chief safety officer. That position will oversee the U’s police department and other safety aspects of the campus. The university is still in the process of selecting a new police chief. That position became vacant after former police chief Dale Brophy retired in October. — Rocio Hernandez

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A group of University of Utah students said they are still not feeling any safer on campus, despite the institution’s ongoing work to add or improve security measures in reaction to last year’s murder of track star Lauren McCluskey. 

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Civil rights lawsuits like the one the family of a slain University of Utah track star Lauren McCluskey filed this summer against the school are rarely won, legal experts say. 

Photo of a large "U" sign on the University of Utah campus.
Brian Albers / KUER

The University of Utah is pushing back against criticism that its campus police isn’t committed to protecting students from off-campus perpetrators as it continues a legal battle against the family of slain student-athlete Lauren McCluskey. 

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Erik Neumann / KUER

The parents of slain University of Utah student and track athlete Lauren McCluskey filed a $56 million civil rights lawsuit against the school on Thursday. The suit alleges that despite reforms the school pledged to make after her death, officials have not taken disciplinary action against staff, held university police or housing accountable for their slow safety response, or taken responsibility for McCluskey’s death.

Rocio Hernandez / KUER

Since the October 2018  death of student-athlete Lauren McCluskey, her parents have been outspoken about how the University of Utah handled the matter.

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Rocio Hernandez / KUER

Stemming from the fatal shooting of a University of Utah student, several campus safety improvements are underway with more to come, officials said at a Board of Trustees’ Tuesday meeting.

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Rocio Hernandez / KUER

More police officers, more trainings and better communication between the University of Utah and outside agencies are among the recommendations made by an independent review team formed in response to the October murder of Lauren McCluskey.

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Rocio Hernandez / KUER

University of Utah President Ruth V. Watkins has tapped two former law enforcement officials to work on independent reviews into campus safety and police protocols following the killing of a student last month.

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Screenshot University of Utah

The suspect in the fatal shooting on the University of Utah campus Monday night went on a dinner date shortly after he killed a 21-year-old student with a borrowed gun, the university police chief said Thursday.

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Hundreds of students, faculty and staff gathered Wednesday at the University of Utah in honor of student-athlete Lauren McCluskey, who was shot and killed on campus Monday night.

Courtesy University of Utah

Updated at 4:45 p.m. MT

A University of Utah student athlete who was shot and killed on Monday night had a brief but tumultuous relationship with her suspected shooter, her family said, as police began to piece together the violent episode that put the university’s campus on lockdown overnight.