Following the release of unsettling video footage showing police officers dragging a black student from her room, there is unpleasant tension at American University, according to sources.
Students from the University demonstrated near the campus student union on Monday to call for justice for a student identified as Gianna Wheeler, who was appearing before the university disciplinary committee for a conduct review at the time.
On September 27, an event happened at one of the Frequency Apartments off-campus housing units owned by the University in Washington, D.C, according to an article in The Eagle newspaper.
The video, which was first shared on Twitter by Aminta Zea, a former American University student and freelance activist, showed police officers dragging Wheeler into the hallway by her arms and legs.
The footage shows Wheeler screaming, “You’re dragging me.” “Get off of my back.”
“This is my dorm room,” she added, raising her voice.
Some students were outraged by Wheeler’s shady treatment and subsequent appearance before the University’s disciplinary committee, and they demonstrated in her support on Monday.
The demonstration was coordinated by the Black Lives Matter D.C. movement.
What should have been a genuine concern for the mental and emotional well-being of the student was weaponized and used to irreparably traumatize Gianna, according to Black Lives Matter activists who posted their statement online.
Sixteen police officers entered Wheeler’s room, according to the report, and removed her against her consent, according to the report.
“One police officer also took the time to humiliate and threaten Gianna, implying that she would be suspended from school,” the report stated. « Recently, we have seen how the gross misapplication of force combined with the police state mentality can result in state-sanctioned murder, as in the case of Atatiana Jefferson. »
According to a statement released by the university in response to the protest, “American University is committed to the right to free expression, which includes the ability to express opposition.
“We encourage student organizations to exercise these freedoms on campus in accordance with criteria such as safety, the rights of others, and the normal operation of the institution,” said the university. The initiative is part of our commitment to foster inclusive communities via learning and sharing knowledge.”