El PASO, Texas — A Coronado High School teacher protesting George Floyd’s death in downtown El Paso earlier this week was dragged away from the demonstration and handcuffed by officers.
Diego Carlos was arrested for what even El Paso police admit is an uncommon charge, blocking a pedestrian roadway.
Carlos, who teaches government and history, said he will share what that experience felt like with his students once classes resume at Coronado high.
“I think it’s definitely a teaching moment. I think, first, just to give a damn, just care about what’s going on around the world. These issues, they affect El Paso,” said Carlos in an interview with ABC-7 on Thursday.
Carlos said that during Tuesday night’s protest, police started pushing protesters when calling on them to clear the streets.
Rather than push back, Carlos sat in the middle of San Antonio Street where the protesters had gathered, and lifted his hands to show he was not being violent. That’s when he says he was arrested.
“They dragged me back, cuffed me, took me to the northeast substation and cited me. Pedestrian blocking a roadway? I was not by myself, but I was arrested by myself though,” he explained.
A police spokesman said the charge of blocking a pedestrian roadway is an uncommon charge because it’s an uncommon offense.
“Rarely do people stand in the roadway after ordered by an officer to clear it,” said Sgt. Kiki Carrillo.
Asked if perhaps his arrest was used to intimidate other protestors into complying, Carlos made this observation:
“We had the CBP helicopter flying real low, real low, to try to drown out our noise. You had police in full riot gear. Every officer had thousands of dollars in gear on them. They had military style vehicles behind us. So there was definitely some intimidation going on. I don’t know if my arrest was to intimidate people.”
The citation Carlos was given by police carries a fine of up to $500. He said he intends to fight it and will continue protesting for the issues he is passionate about, such as police reform.
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