Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Johnson City, TN: ETSU Student Charged with Intimidation for Wearing Gorilla Mask to BLM Protest & Passing Out Bananas and Nooses to Black Students

I watched the most bizarre Facebook video earlier today. It took place at East Tennessee State University down in Johnson City, TN. There was a Black Lives Matter protest happening on campus. It wasn't huge. It wasn't out of control. It wasn't raucous.

Some counter-protester showed up barefoot and wearing bib overalls. And wearing a gorilla mask. And carrying a bag with Confederate imagery. Containing bananas that he would then pass out to the black BLM protesters. And little tiny nooses.

Seriously.

To their credit, the BLM protesters didn't react. They took pictures of the guy and they filmed him. But they supported each other and assured each other that he was just being a jerk.

The police eventually came and took the guy away. But not before unmasking him in front of everyone.


His name is Tristan Rettke and he's a fellow ETSU student. He came to the protest wearing the gorilla costume hoping to provoke a fight, if the police report is to be believed:
The report said after his rights were read Rettke said he found out about the protest on the social media platform Yik Yak. 

Rettke told officers that he went to the store on Tuesday and purchased the rope, bananas and the gorilla mask. The suspect then stated he went to the protest with no shoes on with coveralls "in attempt to provoke the protestors."
Rettke has been charged with one count of civil rights intimidation.

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