East Tennessee State University campus police arrested a White student on Wednesday and charged him with civil rights intimidation for wearing a gorilla mask and taunting Black Lives Matter protesters with bananas, the New York Daily News reports.
WCYB-TV said freshman Tristan Rettke told the police that he learned about the demonstration on the app Yik Yak and tried “to provoke the protesters.”
The students had gathered on campus to protest fatal police shootings of unarmed Black men in Charlotte, North Carolina, and Tulsa, Oklahoma.
School officials told WJHL-TV that Rettke is now on interim suspension. They also met with students on campus for a dialogue. In a statement, administrators denounced Rettke’s actions, saying it was contrary to the university’s values.