Christian Smith, a 19-year-old Carlow University student, was suspended and arrested after he showed up to class dressed as the Batman character "The Joker."
Smith now faces charges of aggravated assault, resisting arrest, terroristic threats and disorderly conduct.
Police received multiple calls about a man in a hoodie with face paint around 11 a.m. on Sept. 27, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports. When police arrived at the Carlow campus in Pittsburgh, they entered Smith's classroom and asked the student for his ID. Police left the classroom, then returned and asked him to remove the makeup.
KDKA reports that Smith became agitated and aggressive when police approached him:
Smith says he wore the makeup to class because he was taking his girlfriend to a comic book convention. A school employee saw the get-up and called police.
According to police reports, Smith was “agitated” when officers arrived, and said, “the police are picking on me because I’m black.”
Smith claimed he did not have to take the makeup off because women in the class were also wearing it, WPXI reports.
Police then arrested Smith, removing him from class, and later brought him to a hospital for an evaluation. Smith has now been suspended from the university.
"This is clearly a First Amendment speech issue and he wasn't harming anybody nor was he harming himself," Smith's attorney, Phillip DiLucente, told the Post-Gazette.
According to WPXI, Smith and his attorney are trying to get the charges dropped and considering a lawsuit against the university.
Carlow spokesman Andrew Wilson told local media the university is "confident in the actions of university police in protecting the rights and privileges of the student involved, and ensuring the safety of its students and the campus community."
Also on HuffPost:
Are You Sure It's Not Working?
The first realization that needs to occur is do you really want to break up with your roommate? Breaking up is hard to do! Everything is difficult-- the explanation you have to give, finding a new place, dealing with someone's feelings, subletting or signing over your old place, and especially the actual moving out and moving in days. So make sure you're not making this decision on a whim and that you have enough financial stability to make such a change. If you're in the dorms, it is much easier to make the switch, but try to plan for friends to help you with the move.
Start Making Plans, Man
Financial pressures can keep you glued to a roommate you don't like, especially if you've leased your apartment. If you've signed a lease, talk to your landlord about the possibility of signing the lease over to a sublet. Don't be afraid to start making living plans with friends or searching for a new roommate before you let your roommate know it's over.
No Passive Aggressive Notes!
This conversation should be face-to-face. "I hate confrontation" is a phrase uttered by so many college students, it should be printed on a Johnny Cupcakes t-shirt. Well, not all confrontations go down like Jersey Shore "come at me, bro" chest-puffing performances. Accepting that a discussion about moving out or getting a new roommate cannot be ignored, avoided or procrastinated upon is important. Don't wait until the last day of the semester to speak up - sooner is better.
Be Considerate, Patience is Key
Before sitting down your roommate to talk about how you feel, be considerate of your roommate's schedule and brace him for the conversation. Tell him briefly that you need to discuss next year's plans and would like to take time to talk about it.
Get Out of the House to Talk
Go out to dinner. Your roommate is far less likely to shed tears or throw a fit in public. If they seem visibly upset, offer to pay for their meal. It'll ease the blow.
Speak Swiftly and Carry an Even Tone
During this talk, be frank, but try not to be cold. For example, it's best to start with an introduction, like, "I've given this a lot of thought, and I think that I need a change next year. I'll be signing a lease with some friends soon. I just wanted you to know so you'd have time to prepare, too." It's also safe to say that keeping your tone and emotions in check so as to not make the situation any more dramatic is important.
And You're Out! Unless...
All the past advice is important to keep in mind assuming your roommate is your everyday, average, mentally stable college student. The following slides are guides to breaking up when your roommate is a little bit more unique.
Your Roommate is a Drunk
If your roommate is out all night, every night and has a blood alcohol content level that's never within the range of being capable of having a serious discussion, breaking up can be tricky. Invite him out to the bars and before you walk inside, ask him to take a short walk with you. He'll be so eager to flirt with Jack Daniels and the bartender that he likely won't protest when you tell him you have other plans for next year.
You're Breaking Up With A Hippie Roommate
If your roommate is a hippie, tell them something along the lines of "Hey, dude, I had this wicked crazy dream last night. Buddha told me I need change, and I need to wander in order to find harmony. I think I'm going to have to move out. It was a really powerful experience." Be convincing though. All that empathy for animals and the earth makes a hippie roommate mighty sensitive.
Your Roommate Doesn't Have Many Friends
When a roommate doesn't have many friends and you both get along relatively well, you can go through a spiraling guilt trip that may keep you locked into dorming with this person for all of college. Just because a person is tolerable, doesn't mean they're an ideal living buddy when you could live just as well, if not better, with a good friend. Plus, some people are just lone wolves, and they don't make a lot of friends not because they can't, but because they don't want to. Your roommate shouldn't be a personal charity project.
Your Roommate Is Annoyingly Dramatic
Are you afraid to break up with your roommate because she'll throw herself on the floor like she's auditioning for the role of Juliet? This may be an instance where you stay home to talk to her about moving out. If she starts to cry and scream, tell her that you have to grab some fresh air and that you've made up your mind but refuse to talk to her about the matter until she's calmer.
You're Breaking Up With a Slob
Getting your security deposit back on an apartment is awesome. What's not awesome is when you don't receive that fat check because your roommate is disgusting. When breaking up with the king of filth, be straight with him about what he is responsible for fixing and cleaning before you split. Don't let your roommate off the hook for objects he broke that the University might charge you both for. If you're afraid he's going to bail without doing his part, tell an RA that you don't want to be held accountable for someone else's issues. They'll likely help you out if you stay calm and kind. If it's an apartment, then enlist the help of some friends for clean-up. Clorox wipes, Windex and paper towels go a long way. Also, if your roommate chooses to leave objects behind without helping to clean, throw it all in the dumpster or donate it.
You're Breaking Up With a Roommate (and her boyfriend)
Are you breaking up with your roommate because you thought you'd signed up to live with one person, and now you're living with two? Sometimes, it's easier for you to just leave the apartment instead of kicing both of them out. Offer to sign the lease over to your roommate's significant other and tell your roommate that you just want to live somewhere with a little more privacy.