Mock News Story
By Victoria Gonzalez, Pro for a Day
A black student at Rudlin State University claimed he was violently detained by a white police officer after trying to break into his own dorm room, causing racial uneasiness at the campus.
Jason Donnelson, 21, and his family said at a news conference earlier today that they planned to file a claim against the university.
Some students involved in the Black Lives Matter movement will hold a peaceful rally in support of Donnelson next Saturday.
Donnelson, who participates in Rudlin’s track team, said a white campus police officer tackled him late Nov. 1 near his dorm room in Ratchet Hall after he tried to get in. He said the officer rudely questioned him after he could not produce any identification as to why he was breaking into the dorm. He said he had accidentally left his ID, along with his dorm keys, back at the Turn-up bar with one of his teammates, where they went to celebrate after finishing a track meet.
“I tried to tell them, but they don’t want to listen,” he said. “They just wanted to restrain me.”
This statement incited cheers and applause from a few Black Lives Matter supporters at the press conference who chanted, “Justice for Jason!”
Donnelson said the officer threw him to the ground, hurting his lower back and neck.
The young man’s father, Purvis Donnelson, said his son was treated like a thug.
“They arrested him like he was an animal,” he said.
Laura Allred, the family’s attorney, said they wanted to file a claim against the school on the basis of mental anguish. No claim has been filed yet.
Marion Michelle Jenkins, a Black Lives Matter activist, said similar recent incidents around campus needed the administration’s acknowledgement.
“This is injustice and it cannot stand,” she said.
Lessly Gibson, 22, a communication major, who also represented Black Lives Matter at the press conference, said racial issues were a recurring topic at Rudlin, but the Donnelson issue was the breaking point.
“You do see undercurrents, but nothing to this degree,” he said.
Jenkins said participants at the upcoming march are willing to disrupt classes if necessary.
“Peaceful does not mean we aren’t going to agitate some people,” she said.
Purvis Donnelson seemed outraged when Chief Carter Cheef said Jason Donnelson was found to have had a blood alcohol level of .116% at the time of the incident, which is double the legal limit in the state of California.
“That is a lie!” he screamed. “Now you gonna pay!”
He fell to the ground shortly afterward. Allred later said the father had congestive heart failure.
Some Black Lives Matter members are circulating the hash tag #justiceforjason in response to the incident.