At least 28 arrested after protesters set up encampments on Emory University campus

ATLANTA — Police arrested at least 28 people after protests on Emory University’s campus on Thursday.

NewsChopper 2 flew over the scene where there was a large police presence. Channel 2′s Tom Regan spotted multiple Atlanta police officers, Emory campus police officers and Georgia State Patrol troopers responding to the protests.

The Georgia Department of Public Safety released a statement Thursday evening saying at 8:30 a.m., the Emory Police Department and Atlanta Police Department requested the assistance of DPS with a protest at Emory University.

Georgia State Troopers and Motor Carrier Officers responded to break up the protest but said they were met with protestors who threw bottles and refused to leave.

Emory University shared a statement from Vice President for Public Safety Cheryl Elliott that said 28 people were arrested, including 20 people from the Emory community.

The DPS said any and all charges would be issued by the Emory Police Department.

They say some of them have been released, and the university says it is working with authorities to expedite the release of community members still in custody.


The protests are in response to the ongoing Israel-Hamas war. Protests at multiple universities have popped up over the past week with groups setting up encampments after more than 100 protesters were arrested at Columbia University.

The students at those protests called for their universities to separate themselves from any companies that are advancing Israel’s military efforts in Gaza — and in some cases separate from Israel itself.

Channel 2′s Michael Doudna reported live from the campus on WSB Tonight. The protesters left the campus after police shot tear gas containing pellets and a new video showed police Tasing one of the protesters.

Georgia State Patrol said the protester resisted his arrest.

Once they got one of his hands in handcuffs, troopers say he shoved the other under his body to keep his hand from being cuffed. He was ultimately tased twice, once in the abdomen and a second time in the right thigh.

During the protest response, troopers say they deployed pepper balls to control the unruly crowd.

Gov. Brian Kemp praised the response of law enforcement, saying college campuses will “never be a safe haven for those who promote terrorism and extremism that threatens the safety of students.”

However, Congressman Hank Johnson says he was disturbed by Georgia State Patrol’s involvement and called the protests, “reminiscent of the anti-war and civil rights protests on college campuses in the 1960s and 70s”

Cheryl Elliott, Emory University Vice President for Public Safety, released a statement on Thursday that read:

I’m writing to share further information about the events that took place on our Atlanta campus earlier today and the actions taken by the Emory Police Department (EPD).

At 7:41 a.m. a few dozen protestors arrived on campus. When they arrived, these individuals ignored and pushed past EPD officers stationed on the Quad and set up tents in an area where equipment and materials were staged for Commencement. Based on their actions and refusal to confirm their connection to Emory, EPD made the assessment that these individuals were not Emory community members. Officers with the Atlanta Police Department and Georgia State Patrol were then called to provide further assistance. Around this time, several social media accounts announced a protest and occupation of the Quad and issued a public call for non-Emory community members to join them.

EPD issued multiple warnings at different intervals advising individuals in the encampment that they were trespassing on private property and instructing them to leave. When those requests were ignored, Atlanta Police and Georgia State Patrol officers assisted EPD with dispersing the crowd and taking individuals into custody for criminal trespass.

During this process and the subsequent confrontations, objects were thrown at police officers. To our knowledge at this time, an individual attacked a non-EPD officer and appears to have been tased. Video of this incident has been widely shared on social media. Based on current information, this individual is not a member of the Emory community. Due to the direct assault of officers, law enforcement released chemical irritants into the ground to assist with crowd control.

As of this message, we have been notified that 28 individuals have been arrested, including 20 Emory community members, some of whom have been released. We are working with responding agencies to expedite the release of any Emory community members who remain in custody.

Our primary goal today was clearing the Quad of a disruptive encampment while holding individuals accountable to the law.

—  Cheryl Elliott, Emory University Vice President for Public Safety


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