Another day, another incident of inexcusable harm done to Black youth at the hands of authorities. This past week, police were called on two students on the Perimeter campus of Georgia State University when they arrived late to class. On Wednesday evening, TikTok creator and college peer, Bria Blake posted about the incident in full. In the video which now has over 356,000 views, Blake recounts the story of how students, Taylor and Kamryn were asked to leave the classroom after arriving two minutes tardy.
According to Blake’s retelling, the students entered the classroom while the door was still open, made their way to their seats, and proceeded to pull out their class items to take lesson notes. It was at this time that they were asked to leave due to their tardiness. The students refused to leave the classroom stating that they “paid to be there.” The professor, named by Blake as Carissa Gray then left the class and returned with two armed campus police officers.
While there have been no official statements released by Gray or the students, Georgia State University did say that they are “looking into the situation.”
“We are looking into this matter and how it was handled by the faculty member. Campus police arrived after being called by the faculty member and immediately de-escalated the situation between the students and faculty member,” the school said in a statement. “Clearly, no crime had been committed so there were no arrests.”
To some, it may come as a shock that Ms. Gray, a professor in GSU’s english department, is actually a Black woman. There is an unspoken (and sometimes spoken) expectation for Black people to understand the gravity of calling in police on other Black people. More than any other racial group, we’ve seen first hand the dangers we face in our interactions with authority. While some believe that there is never an incident where the cops should be called in, I would say most would agree at the very least, that there need not be police interference when there is no threat posed. In the case of these two students simply refusing to leave their seats after arriving late, there was never any threat of violence.
“Stuff like this cannot keep happening to Black youth in America,” Blake said in the video. “Stop weaponizing the police against Black people.”