Six CUNY Students were arraigned last week on charges of resisting arrest during a peaceful protest against David Petraeus’s teaching appointment at the college. A YouTube video of the arrest surfaced late in the week, showing NYPD officers brutalizing the protesting students. The violence in the video–at one point you see an already subdued 25-year-old Luis Henriquez being punched in the back–has energized CUNY faculty enough to demand Petraeus’s resignation.
The students arrested were among 70 protesters at the Macaulay Honors College in the Upper West Side. Besides Henriquez, Jose Disla, 25, Augustin Castro, 23, Denise Ford, 24, Angelica Hernandez, 18, and Rafael Pena, 24, were arraigned on charges ranging from resisting arrest to obstruction of government administration, according to the New York Post.
The “Ad Hoc Committee Against the Militarization of CUNY,” a student group opposed to Petraeus teaching at the college, issued a press release condemning the arrests, insisting the protest was peaceful. A YouTube video posted by an unknown demonstrator seems to corroborate the statement, showing NYPD swarming the protest and getting physical with a number of protesters.
In response to the arrests, faculty and graduate students circulated a statement repudiating the actions of the NYPD and Macaulay’s administration.
Roughly 450 graduate students and academics have signed the petition, calling for the immediate dismissal of Petraeus. Among the complaints is Petraeus’s leading role in the occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as his recent support of military intervention in Syria.
“Petraeus is responsible for countless deaths and innumerable destruction in Iraq and Afghanistan as a war commander and chief of the CIA,” reads the statement.
Despite university-wide dissatisfaction with Petraeus’s continued employment at the University, school administrators doubled down on Petraeus’s teaching gig in a statement issued to Macaulay’s website on Friday.
Interim Chancellor William P. Kelly refers to Tuesday’s protest as “corrosive of the values at the heart of the academic enterprise.” The statement makes no mention of the arrests.
It is unclear if students face disciplinary action from the university. Runnin’ Scared is awaiting comment from Macaulay Honors College.
See the video below, along with the full press release from the Ad Hoc Committee Against the Militarization of CUNY.