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Video Shows Alleged UCI Student’s Jeep Hitting Protesters At A George Floyd Demonstration

Update 5/31/2020: The article’s title and lede have been changed for clarification.

Video footage released on Twitter shows an alleged UCI student’s Jeep hitting protesters in a George Floyd demonstration in Visalia, CA on Saturday, May 30.

The user who published the video claimed that UCI third year student Jyntrae McPherson — along with two CSU Fresno students Jacob Robles and Dylan Mota — hit protesters with McPherson’s Jeep. McPherson was not driving the vehicle.

UCI has not confirmed if McPherson was the student in the car.

The video shows protesters in front of the Jeep with signs in hand. The Jeep had an American flag and a “Trump 2020” flag waving on the back of the car.

The video appears to show two protesters getting hit.

Karina Ramirez, one of the protesters who was hit, told ABC 30 that the Jeep “pulled up to protesters, started hackling them, and the crowd turned on them.” Ramirez suffered bruises on both legs from contact with the vehicle.

Since the incident, people have been leaving one-star reviews for Dollar Bill Auto Sales, a business in Visalia owned by who appears to be one of McPherson’s parents — the New University could not confirm if it was her father, mother or both. 

The owner of Dollar Bill Auto Sales responded to several of the one-star reviews by saying that McPherson was in the back seat of the Jeep and that McPherson and the other passengers “went straight to the police to report the incident.”

Photo provided by Oriana Gonzalez/Courtesy.

UCI released a statement on its social media accounts on Sunday, May 31 saying that the university was aware of the incident that “possibly” involves a UCI student. 

“We are deeply alarmed by the footage and condemn any acts of violence, which is in opposition to our core values of mutual respect and inclusion. The matter has been forwarded to the appropriate campus authorities for review,” UCI’s statement said.

Several students reached out to officials in the UCI administration. Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs Willie L. Banks and Assistant Vice Chancellor of Student Life and Leadership Rameen A. Talesh are a few of the officials who have responded. They use similar wording that UCI used in their social media statements.

CSU Fresno addressed the incident by releasing a statement on Twitter on Saturday, May 30 saying that they were aware of the incident and have referred it to their Dean of Students.   

“If the people are confirmed as enrolled students, a thorough student-conduct review will be conducted, while adhering to FERPA student-privacy laws. We strongly condemn the violence that took place in Visalia. It is inconsistent with the University’s core values based on the foundation of respect for all,” CSU Fresno said on Twitter.

In response to the video, a petition was created calling for the arrest of CSU Fresno students, Mota and Robles.

Oriana Gonzalez is the 2019-2020 Editor-In-Chief. She can be reached at eic@newuniversity.org.

Sydney Charles is a 2019-2020 Campus News Co-Editor. She can be reached at campusnews@newuniversity.org.