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Professor charged with battery after she was ‘violently arrested’ in pro-Palestine protests on viral video

At least 28 people arrested at Emory University in Georgia after police came to disperse a pro-Palestine protest

Amelia Neath
Monday 29 April 2024 18:22
Police detain protesters at Emory University during pro-Palestine demonstration

An Emory University economics professor has been charged with battery after it appeared she was forcefully arrested during a pro-Palestinian protest on campus.

A CNN video caught the moment that a woman, believed to be Caroline Fohlin, was detained by Georgia police last Thursday. She was wrestled on the ground after trying to question law enforcement who were arresting protestors.

CNN reported that at least two professors were detained by Atlanta police - Emory University economics professor Caroline Fohlin and Noëlle McAfee, chair of the philosophy department, but the outlet did not confirm if it was Ms Fohlin in the video.

DeKalb County jail records show that a person named Caroline Fohlin was arrested on Thursday by the Emory University Police Department and released the following day.

She has been booked on charges including simple battery against a police officer.

A woman, believed to be Caroline Fohlin, was restrained by police officers during pro-Palestine protests at Emory University last Thursday (CNN)

Emory University is one of many US campuses where pro-Palestinian protests and encampments have taken place in recent weeks.

At the Georgia college, protestors had set up multiple tents on the campus lawns, leading to 28 people being arrested. Some 20 are “Emory community members,” the university’s vice president for public safety Cheryl Elliot said in a statement.

The university also said that several dozen protestors, who trespassed onto campus and set up tents, were “not members of our community” and were “activists attempting to disrupt our university as our students finish classes and prepare for finals.”

“Some members of the Emory community later joined the initial group,” spokesperson Laura Diamond said, adding that multiple police warnings for the crowd to disperse were ignored.

In the CNN footage, a woman approaches police officers as they were taking one protester to the ground and restraining the individual’s head on the floor.

“What are you doing?” the woman appears to ask.

Georgia State Patrol officers detain a protester at Emory University during the pro-Palestinian protest Thursday (Copyright 2024 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

She leaned down to the person being restrained, but one officer ran up to her and grabbed her wrists.

“Get on the f****** ground now,” he yelled, pulling her away from the person. “Get on the ground, I said.”

The officer then forcefully brings the woman to the ground, while she can be heard shouting “Oh my god.”

“Ow, my head, you just hit my head on the concrete,” the woman appears to say while another officer comes over to help restrain her.

The officers bring her hands behind her back and secures them with zip ties.

“I am a professor! I am a professor of economics,” the woman shouts.

“I reacted impulsively, I apologise. Please remove the handcuffs,” she continues.

Other videos have emerged from the protest at Emory including one video showing police using a Taser on a Black man who was being restrained by three officers on the ground. Witnesses also reported police firing a type of non-lethal projectile into the crowd.

The Atlanta Police Department said in a statement that its officers “were met with violence” when they were “securing the campus.”

Gregory L. Fenves, the president of Emory University, said he was “saddened by what took place” at the campus.

“I also know that some of the videos are shocking, and I am horrified that members of our community had to experience and witness such interactions,” he wrote in a statement.

“The fact that members of our community were arrested upsets me even more and is something that I take very seriously. To the best of our ability, we are working with law enforcement agencies to assist detained community members and expedite their release.”

Caroline Fohlin could not be reached on Monday. The Independent has contacted Emory University and the Emory Police Department for identification of the woman, and for comment.

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