Students at the University of California Los Angeles held a protest in solidarity with demonstrators in Ferguson, Missouri and around the country on Tuesday, as they blasted the grand jury’s decision not to prosecute police officer Darren Wilson in the shooting death of teenager Michael Brown in August.
A lone UCLA student who stood outside of the Powell Library on UCLA’s campus holding up a sign that read, “There is no strong evidence suggesting Officer Wilson is guilty of murder,” was blocked by a group of fellow female student activists who disagreed with him. They tried to subdue his message by holding up signs of their own and chanting calls for “justice.”
“it’s very dangerous to accuse someone of something that there is no hard proof for. We have people out here saying that Officer Wilson is a murderer… and they are assertive [about it]. But, from my own review of what is online, there is no hard evidence to go either way,” the counter-demonstrator, Carlos Sotelo, told Breitbart News in an interview after the incident occurred.
Sotelo told Breitbart News that it was his first time protesting on campus, and that he is a fifth-year computer science major who was born and raised in Tijuana. He completed high school is a town called Calexico, Mexico before moving to California to attend UCLA after high school.
“They say that I’m a FOX News lover, that I’m a Christian conservative, none of which I am,” he said, noting that he considers himself a libertarian. “I’ve been a Democrat my entire life…people don’t really think for themselves; they just follow what other people are saying.”
At least six students stood in front of Sotelo, while a crowd of at least 60 gathered, looking on in apparent bewilderment at how he could believe that Officer Wilson possibly acted out of self-defense.
Shouts of, “We refuse to live this way, no more! It stops today,” were accompanied by posters with the faces of several other deceased youth whose lives were taken by police fire; in addition to Michael Brown, posters with images of Treyvon Martin, Oscar Grant, Omar Abrego, and Ezell Ford were held up.
One of the students who tried blocking Sotelo held up a sign that read: “Hate is easy, love takes courage.”
Despite his being outnumbered, and the overwhelming attempts to drown out his message and voice, Sotelo said, “I don’t feel defeated at all. What rewarded me today was when I stood by in the hallways and I saw people looking at the sign…and they just looked at me, smiled and gave me a nod and walked away. For me that was enough.”