Man’s arrest at SDSU sparks student protests

SAN DIEGO — A man’s forceful arrest Thursday at San Diego State University sparked student protests on campus and prompted a response from university President Elliot Hirshman and campus police.

The arrest of the man, who police said is not an SDSU student and was suspected of being under the influence of a controlled substance, occurred at 12:42 p.m. at the campus’ student union.

Hirshman said in an email to the SDSU community that the suspect was seen jumping the construction fence at the university’s Open Air Theater and that his erratic behavior was reported by at least two people.

Responding officers attempted to arrest the man and when he resisted, officers restrained him until backup could arrive, according to Hirshman.

“The calling of backup is required any time an officer is engaged in a physical confrontation,” Hirshman said.

“Several more officers arrived on the scene to assist with the arrest. The arrested individual is uninjured and was transported to the San Diego County Jail.”

The arrest was caught on video by at least one person and was shared on social media where students used the hashtag #blackunderattacksdsu to express their disdain for what they saw in the video, according to the San Diego Union-Tribune.

Students also gathered outside the university’s Manchester Hall to raise their fists in silent protest, the newspaper reported.

Hirshman responded to the criticism in the email saying, “The use of force in an arrest is a significant matter and we understand the concerns members of our community have expressed about the arrest. Consistent with department policy, this incident will be evaluated and reviewed by the field supervisor, a lieutenant, a use-of-force expert and the chief of police.”