Watch: Reporter Arrested After Trying to Cover Pro-Palestine Rally at University Campus

Watch: Reporter Arrested After Trying to Cover Pro-Palestine Rally at University Campus

A Tennessee reporter was arrested Tuesday as Vanderbilt University students staged a pro-Palestinian protest.

Nashville Scene reporter Eli Motycka was detained on a trespassing allegation after campus police said he violated a warning, something he denied, according to WPLN-FM.

The officer in charge of arresting Motycka said that the reporter had been warned.

“No, I have not been warned. No one has said those words to me,” he said in a video posted to social media platform X.

As he was led away, students chanted “F*** you, fascists,” although it was unclear whether that was part of the protest or directed at security taking Motycka away.

“I wasn’t warned today that I would be taken off this campus in handcuffs. I was here interviewing students. I was here witnessing a protest, and now it’s become about me, I guess,” Motycka said as he was escorted to a police car.

Davidson County District Attorney Glenn Funk later said the case would not go any further.


“This office will not prosecute a reporter for peacefully doing his or her job,” his office said in a statement, according to the Nashville Scene.

Motycka said he was told by Public Defender Martesha Johnson Moore that Judicial Magistrate Timothy Lee did not find probable cause to hear the charges against him.

The reporter was detained for less than three hours.

The Vanderbilt Hustler said a university representative told the campus newspaper that Motycka tried to enter Kirkland Hall, where a student protest was taking place, saying it was “closed for ongoing construction.”

The campus newspaper said that statement was later revised to say Kirkland Hall was “closed to the public for ongoing construction.”

“Early this morning a group of students breached the university’s main administration building that was closed for ongoing construction and clearly marked as such. Some students physically assaulted a Community Service Officer to gain entrance and proceeded to push staff members who offered to meet with them,” the college said in a statement, according to WSMV-TV.

“Student Affairs staff took a graduated approach to de-escalate the situation. First, they asked students to leave. After the students refused to leave, staff made them aware their actions violated university policy and that they would be subject to disciplinary action,” the statement said.

“After several hours, the university began issuing interim suspensions. Students on interim suspension must leave campus immediately and may not return until further notice, pending the Student Affairs review process,” the college said.

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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