The CNN images in which Caroline Fohlin, professor of economics at Emory University in Atlanta, discovers the violent arrest of a demonstrator on campus are controversial. She asks the police, shocked: “What are you doing? This was enough, a moment later, to trigger a nightmare for the professor. A police officer pushes her to the ground and handcuffs her despite her cries and apologies while the other demonstrators around shout in shame and accuse the police of fascism.

Court records at the DeKalb County Jail showed charges had been filed against the teacher: one for disorderly conduct and another for simple assault on a police officer. A screenshot of the allegations was shared on X by independent journalist Robert Mackey.

The accusations against the teacher

In Georgia, the crime of simple battery “applies when an individual is perceived to intentionally cause harm to a person.” Specifically, it involves making contact with someone in a threatening, provocative, or intimidating way. » However, the footage reveals that Fohlin did not harm or struggle with the arresting officers. In the US state, the charge of simple battery is punishable by a fine of one thousand dollars or up to a year in prison. Fohlin is not the only professor arrested during Thursday's protest at Emory: the other is Noelle McAfee, chair of the university's philosophy department. Emory has been the scene of some of the most violent clashes between students and law enforcement since the start of pro-Palestinian protests at American universities. At least 23 people were arrested Thursday, on charges ranging from rioting to obstructing the work of the police. According to what was reported by the Atlanta Journal Constitution, all those arrested were released on bail. Fohlin was given a $50 bond for the simple battery charge. However, there is a possibility, explains the DailyBeast, to avoid the worst at the legal level: the charges against Fohlin and the other people arrested at Atlanta University can be dropped. There is already precedent: for example, on Friday, charges against the 57 protesters arrested Wednesday at UT Austin were dropped.

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