Students protest arrest of campus graduate student on Sproul Plaza

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This piece has been updated to reflect information from campus protests Friday morning.

Students and other demonstrators gathered on Sproul Plaza on Friday morning to protest UCPD conduct on campus and alleged police racial profiling.

Demonstrators formed a circle on the Mario Savio Steps objecting to police presence on campus during Thursday’s protests in response to the cancellation of conservative author Ann Coulter’s planned speech. Protesters also took issue with the Thursday morning arrest of Jorge-David Mancillas, a graduate student, Haas Scholar and member of the Underground Students Initiative, for allegedly possessing a weapon on campus.

Campus lecturer Andrew Barlow, who teaches Sociology 114, alleged that Mancillas did not have any weapons on him and that he was racially profiled by the police who arrested him.

Mancillas was cited again after he was booked in Santa Rita Jail on Thursday, but as of Friday morning, he was no longer in custody.

The students stood earlier on the Savio Steps on Thursday holding signs that read “Free JD” and “You arrested a scholar,” while chanting, “Scholar, not a criminal!”

“We know the charges against him are false because we know him,” Barlow said. “We know he was arrested because he has a shaved head, tattoos and is a person of color.”

Barlow said Mancillas had recently been accepted as a doctoral candidate at UCLA in the fall.

According to Shalita Williams, a fellow member of the Underground Scholars Initiative, Mancillas is Latino and has tattoos all over his body, including a large “LA” tattoo on the back of his head.

Williams alleged that Mancillas was only taking pictures of the protests that were happening on Sproul Plaza on Thursday morning. She alleged that he had been stopped by campus police several times in the past and was forced to show them his student ID in one incident.

“It’s not fair that you should have to live in fear and watch your back when you did nothing wrong,” Williams said.

The protesters said that they would be returning to Sproul Plaza on Friday morning to continue to protest Mancillas’ arrest.

Contact Audrey McNamara and Ashley Wong at [email protected].

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  • good riddance

  • ShadrachSmith

    Conservative speech is punishable violence. PC violence is protected speech. Sounds weird when you say it simple like that.

  • laura
  • Anax of Rhodes

    This wasn’t the same guy who refused to remove his mask when confronted by police, was it? I heard that was the only arrest made.

    • Zachary Brown

      no that was a different person. This student, JD, is one of the most compassionate, intelligent people I have met at Cal. There is no doubt in my mind that the only reason he was arrested was because of his shaved head and extensive tattoos. They profiled him as a gang member when he had done nothing wrong (I would also like to note that it’s not a crime to wear tattoos or be in a gang). Disgusting.

      • Anax of Rhodes

        Thanks for confirming these are two different people. Do you have a video link to the arrest? I’d like to see the evidence and the context for myself.

  • lspanker


  • Nunya Beeswax

    So is there some sort of epistemological reason that a person cannot be both a scholar and a criminal?

    • hungryghosty

      Interesting framing of the same question I had: Even if he were not a scholar, would that make him less-likely to be innocent?

  • JP

    “We know the charges against him are false because we know him,” said Barlow. “We know he was arrested because he has a shaved head, tattoos and is a person of color.”

    Barlow is quite the analytical thinker! Such high quality lecturers in Sociology these days.

    • Anna Aaron Nguyen

      I for one don’t want any weapons on campus. Your friend should have left his knife at home. I have to admit, the cops finally are arresting people again. Please clean up the campus so we can walk around and not worry about thugs with weapons. Geeez

  • FreedomFan

    This is outrageous! All protesters should be allowed to carry knives and guns.

    • Anax of Rhodes

      Open-carrying is no different: it’s not a crime (Cali.’s laws notwithstanding; I’m speaking from Arizona) but the left will think there’s a monstrous difference between public arms and public tattoos.