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].