Good old boy student arrested after wearing gorilla mask to Black Lives Matter protest

Sep 29, 2016 by

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An East Tennessee State University student was arrested this week after wearing a gorilla mask and carrying a rope during a Black Lives Matter protest on campus, according to local reports.

Tristan Rettke was charged with civil rights intimidation following the incident, according to a Johnson City Police Department report, WCYB-TV reported. 

Earlier this week as students protested recent police shootings, Rettke walked amongst the crowd wearing a gorilla mask and offering protesters bananas attached to a rope, the East Tennessean, the university’s newspaper, reported.

“He pulled out his burlap sack and then he had the rope and whatnot and then he started offering us bananas,” Jaylen Grimes, one of the demonstrators, told the East Tennessean.  “A lot of us didn’t take it, but I just took as a sign of peace offering and just to show him that, just because he’s being disrespectful towards me, I won’t be disrespectful towards him.”

East Tennessee State University Public Safety officers eventually led Rettke, who was also carrying a burlap bag with a Confederate flag on it, away from the protesters.

University President Brian Noland said he was “saddened” by the incident at a press conference Wednesday.

“We are exceptionally proud of the students who were peacefully participating in the event and the manner in which they exercised restraint, thoughtfulness and strength in the face of inappropriate and offensive behavior,” Noland said in a statement.

Source: Student arrested after wearing gorilla mask to Black Lives Matter protest

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