By Tara Millspaugh and Arturo Garcia
San Diego State students rallied in solidarity to show their support against alleged racial profiling toward some University of Southern California students.
Late Saturday night, the Los Angeles Police Department responded to a noise complaint coming from a party half a mile from USC.
The noise complaint called for more than 70 LAPD officers. Some arrived at the house party in full riot gear with batons, shields and masks, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Partygoers were primarily black and Latino students. The host, Nate Howard, said the intent of the party was to celebrate his four years at USC and to network.
“We had fun,” Howard told CBS Los Angeles. “We’re graduating, and we were having a good time. It was the last day of classes. We had sponsors here.”
Howard said he was arrested because of his race and that another party across the street with primarily Caucasian guests remained undisturbed.
An LAPD watch commander confirmed with CBS Los Angeles that the department did receive a noise complaint and said when officers arrived on the scene, the students refused to leave, and threw beer bottles at the officers.
Additional LAPD officers responded to an “officer needs help” call. Security from USC’s public safety department also arrived.
The LA Times reported that six people were arrested and one officer was injured that night.
Former San Diego State Afrikan Student Union President and Associated Students Executive Vice President Channelle McNutt encouraged students to attend a forum about racial profiling on Tuesday at USC.
“Everyone was passionate regardless of race and class because this is more than that,” McNutt said. “This is a human issue—and we needed a collaborative community to move forward with action.”
McNutt and 19 SDSU students drove to LA to show their support at the forum, but McNutt said the room had reached capacity and no more students were allowed in.
But efforts of SDSU students haven’t stopped there. SDSU’s National Association of the Advancement of Colored People President and psychology junior Esther Are gathered a group of students to wear black clothing and take a picture in front of Hepner Hall. They will post the picture on social media sites to show support for the movement to reduce racial profiling on college campuses. The hashtag that is trending to support the cause is #USchangemovement.
“We want to bring our community close together because there is a divide within our community, especially on our campus,” Are said. “Doing this, supporting the other campuses, will hopefully help us support one another on (our) campus.”
Last month, an incident at UC Irvine also received backlash for its racial profiling. Members of the Lambda Theta Delta fraternity posted a Youtube parody of the Justin Timberlake/Jay-Z song “Suit and Tie.” One of the fraternity members painted his face black, which upset the community.
SDSU’s A.S. Diversity Commissioner Washington Navarrete said all these incidents fueled the multi-campus movement.
“The main thing this movement wants to do is raise awareness of the realities that students of color face in universities,” Navarrete said. “Students of color have a different reality at campuses like UCI and USC—these students are facing harsh realities of discrimination.”