VCU Police arrested a man on campus for trespassing after his racist rants caused "a significant disruption to university operations."
He came back the same day, and was arrested again.
According to VCU, 27-year-old Tyler Lloyd started shouting racist remarks Thursday morning in front of the James Branch Cabell Library. The crowd around him grew to about 200 people, so VCU Police told him to leave to maintain order and ensure safety.
Lloyd refused, so police arrested him for trespassing. Lloyd is not a VCU student or employee.
NBC12 legal analyst Steve Benjamin says Lloyd’s message, no matter how hateful or disruptive it’s perceived, is NOT against the law.
“This speech he was engaging in was hateful, violent speech...but it was not a crime. Hate speech is not criminal. Hate speech is protected by the First Amendment,” Benjamin said.
After he was charged, police say Lloyd returned to the campus Thursday afternoon. He was again arrested and charged with trespassing.
"This was somebody who, for whatever reason, said he wanted to be provocative, and got the kind of reaction he thought he would,” Benjamin said.
"I think it was just a cry for attention. There’s no way you would come onto such a diverse campus and expect a positive feedback from what you’re saying - especially with his vulgar use of words,” freshman Adriane Maringo said.
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