A white Tennessee college student who wore a gorilla mask to a Black Lives Matter protest was arrested for what police called intimidating behavior.
East Tennessee University freshman Tristan Rettke carried rope, as well as a burlap sack with a Confederate flag on it, as he tried to pass out bananas, Time reports.
Rettke was reportedly taken away from the protest and charged with civil rights intimidation.
A protestor in a gorilla mask confronted Black Lives Matter demonstrators with bananas on Wednesday in Borchuck Plaza @etsu pic.twitter.com/stm2E4ijRD
— East Tennessean (@EastTennessean) September 28, 2016
The incident happened while students protested the recent police shootings of black men in Tulsa and Charlotte at the hands of police. In the middle of the demonstration Rettke walked through the crowd of protestors.
At a press conference Wednesday, University President Brian Noland spoke out against Rettke’s actions, calling himself “offended” and “saddened” by the situation.
“We are exceptionally proud of the students who were peacefully participating in the event and the manner in which they exercised restraint, thoughtfulness and strength in the face of inappropriate and offensive behavior,” Noland said.