Three female CSUN students were among a total of 167 adults arrested yesterday in downtown LA following protests over the grand jury decision in Ferguson, Missouri.
The three students, who are a part of the student chapter of Movimiento Estudiantil Chican@ de Aztlán (MEChA), are currently being detained at the LAPD headquarters.
Diana Figueroa, LAPD officer, said an additional 15 individuals were minors who were cited and released for violating curfew. The adults were charged with disturbing the peace.
“They may be released as early as Friday,” Figueroa said. One individual was arrested and charged with felony battery.
“To us, this and the fact that police were in full riot gear as a response to a peaceful protest means that they came into this looking for conflict,” said MEChA de CSUN in a statement released to The Sundial.
Nuria Vargas, LAPD officer, said dispatching police in riot gear is a “normal response” to this type of situation. She also said an additional four people were arrested by California Highway Patrol.
There were at least five CSUN students who participated in the protest.
Karina Ortiz, a history and Chicano/a studies double major, was one of the five students there protesting.
Ortiz said they were with a large group of protesters on Flower Street, near 7th Street, when police officers started to approach the group from in front and behind them. At that moment, the group got separated as police started arresting the individuals. Ortiz and another student managed to get away.
Ortiz asked a nearby officer what was going on and he said the people were going to be detained and arrested.
“The officers there were trying to agitate us, frighten us and separate us,” said Ortiz. “And they did exactly that.”
Ortiz also said that for now they are waiting for the students to be released before MEChA participates in any other protests.
However, Ortiz did say that MEChA de CSUN will participate in events planned next week with the Black Student Union (BSU).