Hundreds Protest in Support of ‘Anti-Racist’ Student Arrested for Spray-Painting Anti-White Graffiti

ashley.rae | April 22, 2016

(Image source: Twitter)

Hundreds of activists are crying “racism” after a black student at the University of Wisconsin-Madison was arrested for spray-painting “THE DEVIL IZ A WHITE MAN” on campus.

The Wisconsin State Journal reports UW-Madison student Denzel McDonald, known as “King,” was arrested for allegedly causing more than $4,000 in damage to school property.

McDonald tagged buildings with quotes such as “THE DEVIL IZ A WHITE MAN,” “RACIZM IN THE AIR. DON’T BREATHE,” and “WARNING: SLAVE SOCIETY.”

The quotes are all attributed to “God.”

McDonald’s arrest reportedly came after a six-month investigation.

McDonald was removed from a classroom during a lecture and arrested.

According to the Wisconsin State Journal, nearly 400 people protested McDonald’s arrest on Thursday in a show of solidarity called “We Are GOD: A Day of Disrupting white Supremacy & Anti-Black Racism at UW-Madison.” The "w" in "white" was not capitalized.

Protesters reportedly chanted, “King couldn't learn 'cause of y'all, y'all ain't gonna learn 'cause of me” in front of the library in order to disrupt students’ learning:

The protesters also allegedly stapled a list of demands to a statue of Abraham Lincoln on campus.

The demands call for police to not press criminal charges against McDonald, for the police officers who arrested him to resign, and for activists to control the police department’s hiring and firing decisions.

University chancellor Rebecca Blank responded to the protests by saying, “This has been a difficult and exhausting semester for our communities of color.”

“We will continue to assist students who need counseling or other support as they deal with the impact that these incidents have had on the campus,” she noted.

However, Blank also stated she would not be meeting all of the demands laid out by the protesters.

“Embedded in the student demands are requests for actions that I do not believe are reasonable, or even lawful, for me to take,” she said.

The protest comes after Blank issued a statement condemning the police department’s actions.

Blank wrote she was “upset too” when she heard about the police entering the classroom to conduct “police business.” According to Blank, “There are practices in place at UWPD regarding when it is appropriate to enter a classroom to conduct police business. Unfortunately, in this instance these practices were not followed.”

UW-Madison Police Chief Susan Riseling also issued an apology for how the situation was handled, saying the officers who arrested McDonald didn't know class had begun when they entered the classroom.

“Because of the officer’s error in believing the class had not yet started, I extend my sincerest apologies to the students and the professor who were in this class and witnessed this interruption," Riseling wrote.

According to the Wisconsin State Journal, the Dane County District Attorney’s Office said they have not made a decision regarding the charges McDonald could face, but police have recommended 11 criminal charges for the graffiti as well as a disorderly conduct charge for an instance in which McDonald threatened a bystander.