Two North Carolina A&T police officers, seen in a viral video grabbing the sophomore class president by the neck and slamming him to the ground inside of a dorm, have been put on “indefinite” administrative leave.
What We Know:
- Around 1:30am on Wednesday, North Carolina Agricultural and Technical University (N.C. A&T) sophomore Verdant Julius was returning to his dormitory on the Greensboro, N.C., campus with two of his friends when the group was stopped by two police officers. Because of the coronavirus crisis, the university had already shut down classes but had given students until Sunday to clear out of the dorms.
- Julius and a second student, Mantryll Williams, could proceed but an unnamed female student was reportedly stopped. When Julius asked the officers why, Williams said the officer told him: “If you take one step closer, I am going to have you arrested for obstruction of an investigation.”
- The exchange between Julius and the officers reportedly culminated into one of the officers threatening to use mace on Julius inside of the Aggie Village residence hall, which he replied: “You’re honestly ridiculous.”
#NCAT it’s fucking up. I know I don’t usually speak like this on the timeline but the campus police have gone too far pic.twitter.com/TzSEe6Ypc7
— Tryll🔗 (@yoitstryll) March 18, 2020
- Officers responded by grabbing Julius and bringing him to the ground while kneeling on him as they arrested him. Julius was charged with resist, delay or obstruct of a public officer, and trespassing, according to the Winston-Salem Journal.
“This whole situation could have been avoidable as everyone is in a rush to pack and evacuate campus due to the pandemic of COVID-19. The over-policing of Black students is an ongoing problem at many HBCU’s in the country. I am only outraged and disappointed this intense show of force was used against a student who simply was trying to get to his room.” – Mantryll Williams
- Williams, who shot the video that has currently been viewed more than 1.5 million times, started a petition urging campus police to drop all charges against Julius and demanding that the officers be disciplined. So far, the petition has 7,439 of the 8,000 signatures requested.
- “Police are here to protect and serve, slamming to the ground should never be a 1st, 2nd or 3rd thought of a police officer to arrest someone not posing a threat and over a campus ID,” Williams added in the petition.
- A&T Police Chief, Charles Wilson, told Winston-Salem Journal that Julius was released after he signed a written promise to appear in court.
- University officials released a statement saying the two unidentified officers were placed on indefinite administrative leave while the incident is investigated.
A&T students gathered on Wednesday in front of the University’s police department and accused campus police of yet another incident of using excessive force. Last September, a school security guard was also captured on video punching a student inside the student center.