Around 11pm on October 5th, two Pomona Students were handcuffed and one was escorted out of the SUGAR 2019 concert at Edmunds Ballroom on Pomona campus.
According to Stan Skipworth, Assistant Vice President of Campus Safety, the Claremont Police Department (CPD) were called by campus security for support in calming students at the concert.
“Campus Safety Officers were assisting a severely intoxicated patient and awaiting medical staff when a friend of the patient began to lead him away to avoid the medical care. As these two headed toward the rear exit of the ballroom, and were followed by Campus Safety, the patient’s friend turned and forcefully pushed the officer away from the patient and then attempted to strike the officer with a clenched fist.”
Skipworth said that the student was immediately handcuffed and detained for their actions and then turned over to the Claremont Police to be charged with assault. CPD records obtained by The Outback confirm this information and indicate that the student was later released when he posted bail.
Danny Hernandez PO ‘22, the other student who was handcuffed at the event, said that he arrived at the concert while his friend was being arrested.
According to Hernandez, when questioned the officers, he was told only to “back up.” He continued to seek answers from the officers and was then handcuffed and sat on the floor for non compliance.
“My friend was roughly handled by two or three camp sec officers before they took him away,” said Hernandez. “They then released me from handcuffs, took me outside, and told me I wasn’t allowed to return inside. By then I had no clue where they had taken my friend.”
According to eyewitness Gabriel Fradkin PZ ‘23, there might be more to the story.
“It seems like they [the officer and the student] exchanged some words… [the student] stumbled and the officer slammed him onto the ground,” he said. “He easily could have dislocated his shoulder or broken his collarbone.”
CPD declined to provide a statement about the incident to The Outback.
Video and witness reports show at least four CPD officers at the scene of the arrest. The police report indicated that the officer in charge of the arrest was Officer James Summerfield.
According to a 2018 article in the Claremont Courier, Officer Summerfield has been accused of racial profiling in the past. Though he was exonerated by the Claremont City Council, the African-American couple involved wanted there to be more follow up on the incident.
Fradkin explained why he felt shaken by what he saw.
“Seeing the cops bringing out a student of color and slamming him to the ground, it was definitely a pretty upsetting scene to watch,” he said. “If this is how they [the police department] conducted themselves in front of sixty or seventy kids, what happens when no one is watching?”
Jack Friedman ‘23 is from New York City and desperately misses bagels. The cream cheese, the everything seasoning… He also is often distracted by food and gets lost in his own thoughts. He is very undecided but planning on being a Political Science.