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When cops searched two men outside of Gentile Arena, Loyola student Alan Campbell criticized the force being used and was then taken into custody himself.

A student from Loyola University Chicago has been taken into custody by campus police outside of the men’s basketball game on Saturday.

The Loyola student was reportedly taken into custody for intervening during a campus police search being performed on two black males at the front entrance of Gentile Arena.

According to the Loyola Phoenix, the two men in question were reported to have been scalping tickets for the game outside of the arena. The Loyola website states that reselling tickets outside of the arena is illegal.

Evangeline Politis, Loyola’s communication specialist, said in an email “two individuals were approached by Loyola University Chicago Campus Safety police officers for allegations that they were scalping tickets to today’s men’s basketball game. During their initial interaction, it was determined that the two individuals were not students.”

While protesting against the university’s funding of the new athletic facility, scheduled to begin construction this spring, several Loyola students from Students for Reproductive Justice (SRJ) and Loyola Young Democratic Socialists (LYDS) saw the two men being searched near the front entrance to Halas Recreation Center.

The Loyola student taken into custody, senior Alan Campbell, said he saw the men being patted down and approached the officers and two men. He was later taken into custody by campus safety after intervening.

It is unclear whether Campbell intervened physically or verbally; Politis reported that he “inserted himself” into the situation during the police interaction and challenged the campus safety officers. She said that Campbell refused to identify himself as a Loyola student as requested and was removed from the scene for creating a safety concern.

Campbell says the police took inappropriate disciplinary actions.

“There was excessive force used by Loyola’s police department. They were searching, spread eagle, two black males while we were protesting,” Campbell said. “It was unjust, it looked completely wrong that Loyola was taking that action completely out in the open.”

Paloma Fernandez, another senior and protester, joined in on the intervention. Fernandez said Campbell followed the campus safety while chanting on behalf of the two men as they were taken to another location.

“Alan kept chanting that these men should be let go, that they were not doing anything wrong,” Fernandez said. At that point, campus safety detained Campbell and forced him to the ground. When Fernandez tried to help Campbell, one of the police became angrier, grabbed her and pushed her against the wall.

Fernandez was eventually let go and Campbell was released from custody after spending 45 minutes in the campus safety vehicle while handcuffed.

He was escorted to the Office of Student Conduct and Conflict Resolution (OSCCR) in the Damen Student Center, where he and other students demanded actions to be taken for the issues of race at Loyola.

The two men that were scalping tickets were given verbal warnings. No disciplinary actions have been determined for the students.

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Erin Alexander

Middle Tennessee State University

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