A protest at the City College of San Francisco turned violent Thursday when police clashed with protesters, using batons, fists and pepper spray to quell a chaotic scene.
Around 250 people assembled Thursday to call for the resignation of special trustee Robert Agrella, who was appointed in July 2013 by California Community Colleges Board of Governors. Agrella became the "Special Trustee with Extraordinary Powers" at the state's largest college, according to KALW, when the board of trustees was divested of its authority after the school provisionally lost its accreditation.
The Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges said that unless CCSF shows remarkable improvement, the commission will proceed with revoking its accreditation in July 2014, effectively shutting down the school.
Demonstrators claim that Agrella does not have their best interests in mind, in light of a tabled proposal that would've raised administrators' pay by 19 percent. Agrella said there are no plans to hand out raises, while three vice chancellors are getting 10 to 13 percent more than their approved salaries, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. Meanwhile, faculty have seen their salaries cut in recent years.
Campus and city police on Thursday blocked the entrance to Conlan Hall, where the protesters had planned to stage a sit-in. In the clash that followed, two protesters were arrested, including one who was pepper sprayed.
Outside the building, officers were also seen swinging batons on students:
— Santiago Mejia (@SantiagoMejia) March 13, 2014
Video uploaded to Vimeo by Peter Menchini (see above) combines multiple camera angles and purportedly shows students being pushed, placed in headlocks and punched by police officers. One handcuffed individual, identified as a student, is shown being carried up the stairs by his arms and legs.
"I was disheartened to see what happened," said San Francisco Supervisor David Campos at a rally outside City Hall Friday. "We need a full investigation into what led to the pepper spray."
School officials said six officers suffered minor injuries in the melee, KPIX reports.