Video of Student Arrest at Emory Library Troubles Some Activists
(APN) ATLANTA — Some progressive activists are concerned about a video recently posted to Youtube that shows Emory University police arresting an Emory PhD student, Joe Diaz.
The video, which Atlanta Progressive News received by email earlier today, is titled Emory Student Arrested for Trying to Help Homeless Woman.
The video first shows Diaz interacting with Emory police inside the library, while the camera person tells an unknown person that she has the right to film the police activity and that he can look it up.
Diaz is inaudible until 45 seconds into the video, when he opens the library door.
A police officer is shown telling the camera person, “Take that camera out of my face.”
Then the officer asks Diaz for ID.
“You’re required by Emory to release your ID when a police officer asks you for it,” the officer says.
Diaz says something inaudible in response.
“Again, provide what I asked you for or you’re going to be placed under arrest,” the officer says.
“I’m trying to ask if my friend is okay,” Diaz says.
Then, the two officers tackle him against a metal turnstyle and then handcuff him with his arms behind his back. However, because he is wearing a large backpack, the officers appear to strain his shoulders and Diaz screams out in pain at one point.
“WTF Joe Diaz is one of the good guys why is he being arrested?” Jenell Holden wrote on Facebook.
“This is terrible… Emory should be ashamed. Who’s starting the call in campaign and you’s gonna help make this video viral?” Tim Franzen with Occupy Atlanta wrote.
“Joe Diaz was just arrested for attempting to help a homeless woman on Emory’s campus. She was seeking shelter from the rain in the lobby of Woodruff Library,” Laura Emiko Soltis, a recent Emory graduate student who was arrested in a tent city protest at Emory earlier this year, wrote.
“When the authorities attempted to arrest her to get her out, Joe intervened, saying she was his friend (friends of students are allowed in the library),” Soltis wrote.
“When the cops asked for his ID (i.e., to search him), he asked if he was being detained or if he was free to go. In response, he was handcuffed. Meghan Jordan caught the whole thing on tape!” Soltis wrote.
“Emory claims to be a leader in community engagement, but at the same time, it schemes to close homeless shelters that sit on prime real estate. The incident last night reveals Emory’s contempt for the poor community and the lengths they are willing to go to prevent compassion to the most destitute,” Soltis wrote.
Diaz is also an active member of Occupy Atlanta, and was one of the protesters arrested the night OA was evicted from Woodruff Park.
He also, according to his Facebook page, is a member of the Board of Directors of WRFG Radio 89.3 FM, and a PhD student in Philosophy at Emory University.
Diaz did not immediately return messages left through Facebook, email, and phone.