The DeKalb County Police Department (DKPD) arrested two individuals for disorderly conduct following an April 2 protest in front of Chabad at Emory’s house, according to a DKPD incident report obtained by The Emory Wheel. The State Court of DeKalb County told the Wheel on April 15 that the case is still pending, so no charges have been filed.

It is unclear whether the two subjects are affiliated with Emory University. Elijah Brawner (26T), a member of Emory Students for Justice in Palestine who attended the protest, met one of the two arrested individuals and stated that they were not affiliated with Emory. The Wheel was unable to confirm this fact with the arrested individuals.

In an email to the Wheel, DKPD Public Information Officer Elise Wells wrote that an Emory School of Law student “flagged down” DKPD officers around 8:15 p.m. on April 2 to report an earlier confrontation that occurred during the demonstration.

“Based on information obtained by the officers, two subjects were arrested for disorderly conduct without incident,” Wells wrote.

Pro-Palestinian protestors stand in front of Emory University’s Chabad house protesting an Israeli Defense Forces reservist’s invitation to give a speech on April 2. (Jack Rutherford/News Editor)

The law student, who requested to remain anonymous due to safety concerns, alleged that one of the arrested protestors struck him once in the stomach during an altercation over an Israeli flag, although DKPD was unable to confirm if the protestor punched the student. A fence stood between the student and the protestor, and the student alleged that the protestor punched him when he reached through the fence to grasp his flag.

“The fact that the flag was literally on my body or millimeters from it, anyone trying to reach or grab anything is going to go a little further than the thing they’re trying to grab,” the student said. “That’s where the strike happens.”

DKPD officers arrived at the scene after the alleged altercation took place and were only able to review phone footage of the incident. The officer who reviewed the footage — which was recorded by one of the law student’s “associates,” according to the report — wrote in the report that he did not see the student get punched in the video.

In the incident report, the DKPD officer noted that the video shows the law student holding his Israeli flag on one side of the fence when the two arrested individuals grabbed onto the flag through the fence and began yelling at him. The law student then planted his feet on the fence and pulled back in an attempt to keep his flag, according to the report. The officer also wrote that the video shows multiple people on both sides trying to intervene and de-escalate the situation.

“They both began to pull together along with another unknown female, but I was unable to see any punches being thrown,” the report reads.

The unknown female individual, who is not mentioned further in the report, was not arrested alongside the other two subjects.

Brawner asserted that the protestor did not punch the law student at the demonstration. He also recalled the law student “taunting” people and dangling an Israeli flag down to “bait people into grabbing it.” The report states that the law student was “standing on the inside of the fence holding his flag” before the altercation occurred.

“Absolutely no punches were thrown,” Brawner said. “I have seen the videos of the incident, it would have been physically impossible to throw a punch that high.”

DKPD decided to make an arrest on the scene for disorderly conduct under Georgia Criminal Code 16-11-39 based on video evidence, according to the report. Georgia Criminal Code 16-11-39 states that an individual commits disorderly conduct when they act in a “violent or tumultuous manner” that places another individual in “reasonable fear” of their safety or their property is ”placed in danger of being damaged or destroyed.”

After the protest, DKPD located the two subjects at the Chipotle Mexican Grill in Emory Village and detained them. They then brought the subjects to the DeKalb County Jail.

The State Court of DeKalb was unable to disclose to the Wheel if the arrested individuals have lawyers. The court provided contact information for the DeKalb County Solicitor-General’s office, but the office was unable to connect the Wheel with an individual who could provide comment on the case.

Other events of the protest still remain unclear, including the alleged presence of a gun. The law student claimed that a security staffer told him one of the two arrested individuals flashed a gun he was carrying. The law student said that he did not personally witness the individual flash his gun.

However, Brawner said he saw DKPD search the individual who the law student alleged had a gun and said that they did not find a weapon. The DKPD report does not include any mention of a gun.

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Lauren Yee (25Ox) is a news editor at The Emory Wheel. She is from Hong Kong and is majoring in religion. Outside of the Wheel, Yee serves on the boards of the Phi Gamma Literary Society and the Oxford Ensemble of Shakespearean Artists. In her free time, you can find her playing the saxophone, watching musicals or enjoying an iced oat milk matcha!