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By Marty Loftin, Pro For a Day
Tensions were high at Rudlin State University following the detention of a black student who claimed to have been injured by campus police after getting locked out of his dorm.
The student’s parents held a press conference to announce their plans to pursue legal action against the school and during the event the student’s father suddenly collapsed as the police chief recounted the incident.
Jason Donnelson is a 21-year-old freshman and transfer student at the university and was detained on Nov. 1 after 10 p.m. after campus police found him trying to climb into his own dorm room at Ratchet Hall.
Donnelson said that he told the police that he could not get into his room because he had left his keys and ID card with one of his friends, but they did not believe him or others students that said he lived there.
Donnelson said that one officer put a knee into his back and that his injuries might affect his performance in track and field.
Donnelson’s parents, Purvis and Pamela, used the press conference to announce their plan to sue the school for damages, mental anguish and discrimination with the help of their attorney Laura Allred. Jason Donnelson said that he not yet seen a doctor to determine the extent of his injuries.
No charges have been filed against Donnelson and campus police have since apologized for the incident in a statement from Chief Cheef Carter.
Purvis Donnelson became agitated when Carter said his son was belligerent and had a blood alcohol level twice the legal limit. Donnelson had been defending his son before Carter recounted the event and was angered to hear the police’s record of the incident.
“Oh, now you’re going to pay,” said the father.
Donnelson began to pat his chest and suddenly collapsed. Medics arrived on the scene and took him to the hospital for an apparent heart attack, according to his wife.
This traumatic event concluded the press conference but did not deter the protestors in attendance.
Black Lives Matter activists were present to protest the way police handled the situation and activist Marion Michelle Jenkins said that they are planning to hold a rally on Saturday and lead protests across campus.
“I said we were going to be peaceful, not silent,” said Jenkins when questioned further about her plans to lead protests into classrooms.
The school has not yet made a statement regarding the incident or the potential legal action they might face.