Hinds Community College students protest after fellow student arrested

UPDATE: A disciplinary board at Hinds Community College has decided to not take any disciplinary action against a student who was arrested for failing to show his ID when campus police asked him to.

Twenty-one-year-old Akinola Gonzalez’s attorney says officers testified during today’s hearing that Gonzalez wasn’t rude during the encounter and the school ruled that he did not violate the school’s dress code policy, which was initially thought to be the reason behind the arrest.

The college also ruled that Gonzalez was not disorderly and that aside from not showing his ID, he didn’t violate school policy.

However, because he failed to comply with campus police, Gonzales could still face criminal charges for disobeying an officer, because campus police turned him over to the county.


 

hinds co studentsRAYMOND, MS (WJTV) – A Hinds Community College student says he was unfairly targeted by campus police. Now he’s demanding an apology after he says he spent a night in jail for something he can’t understand.

Akinola Gonzalez, 21, is a junior engineering major at the college. He says Tuesday of last week, he was approached by an officer at lunch. He says that interaction completely changed the course of his day.

“My friend said ‘bro pull up your pants. That may be why he’s calling you over there.’ So I turned around and said my pants are up,” Gonzalez said.

Gonzalez says the officer was rude and used profanity when he talked to him. When the officer asked to see his campus ID, the student says he asked why it was needed.

“Then he put me in handcuffs and I asked why he was doing that. He said I’m about to take you to the county because you can’t follow directions,” Gonzalez said.

While he tells us there was never any tension on his part, he says the officer was very hostile in his approach. It’s an issue he and other students there told us they have been dealing with for a while. “There’s a lot of campus officers that abuse their authority,” Gonzalez explained.

The college on the other hand says the arrest had nothing to do with his attire. Instead they say it was failure to comply when that officer asked to see Gonzalez’s campus identification.

“We would never arrest a student for a dress code violation. Whether or not they agree with an officer, there is a process,” Campus Dean, Tyrone Jackson said.

The student’s sister tells us she flew in from Philadelphia when she heard about what happened.

“He was actually strip searched twice. Detained overnight in jail. I think this is a huge injustice and I think every single person should be outraged over this,” Dara Cooper said.

On the other hand, other students are in support of the college.

“No one wants to see someone sagging. I speak for myself, I don’t sag. It’s in the rule book. You read the rule book when you get here. That’s your choice to break a rule. You have to take the discipline no matter how harsh it is,” Campus freshman, Rockman Allen said.

Gonzalez had to face a disciplinary board this afternoon. The campus told us they wouldn’t be commenting on campus matters, however we were told it’s highly unlikely that he will be kicked out of school.

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