Since 1923 • For a greater Loyola

The Maroon

Since 1923 • For a greater Loyola

The Maroon

Since 1923 • For a greater Loyola

The Maroon

Protest organizer Toni Jones faces continued legal battle

Logo for the Jones X Macdonald Defense Committee. The defense committee was formed following the arrest of Toni Jones, who had her first court appearance on April 23. Courtesy of the Jones X Macdonald Defense Committee.

Six weeks following her initial arrest, community member and chief organizer of New Orleans for Community Oversight of Police, Toni Jones, had her day in court on April 23.

Jones was detained on March 16 at a protest that occurred during the New Orleans Book Festival, which was held on Tulane’s Campus. At this protest, Tulane’s Students for a Democratic Society alongside New Orleans for Community Oversight of Police organized a demonstration to protest Tulane faculty member Walter Isaacson and Tulane’s support of Israel.

At this rally, Jones served as chief organizer, tasked to be a guide wearing a yellow vest and ensuring that protesters were obeying the rules and laws. Shortly after the protest began, Jones was arrested by a Tulane police officer.

A month and a half later, Jones appeared in court for discovery.

According to Jones, however, a missing police statement has left her needing an additional court appearance to continue presenting evidence, which will occur on June 11.

Jones faces charges of battery on an officer and obstruction of a lawful investigation.

“The Tulane Police Department seems to be really not confident about getting me on my charges, which are resisting an officer, blocking the sidewalk, and battery of an officer.” Jones said.

According to Rory Macdonald, Tulane student and member of the Tulane chapter of Students for a Democratic Society, the case will likely fall apart.

“The case is terrible,” Macdonald said. “But Tulane got involved and TUPD got involved. They basically told the prosecutor that they couldn’t drop the charges.”

Tulane’s Assistant Vice President for News and Media Relations, Micheal Strecker, responded in disagreement.

“The City Attorney’s Office has the sole authority and discretion to accept or refuse charges and usually consults with the victim, in this case a battered police officer. Tulane has nothing to do with such decisions and did not engage in any of the actions you’ve described,” Strecker said.

Macdonald and Jones have continued and will continue to rally support to drop the charges against Jones as well as for Tulane University to cut all ties with Israel. These demands are in accordance with the Jones x Macdonald Defense Committee, which launched on March 17.

The defense committee has helped in organizing phone zaps, announcements geared toward large numbers of people calling state officials within a set period of time, for local individuals who were arrested while protesting throughout the last two months.

The phone zap for Jones was announced on April 22, and lasted until 10 a.m. the following day prior to her court appearance.

“We did that to raise the profile of our case because we wanted them to know who this person was coming into their court tomorrow, and that it was a political thing.” Macdonald said.

According to Jones, her arrest was not a shot at her, but a shot against the student protest and the student movement.

“We’re gonna keep rallying. We’re gonna keep talking about our cases at other events, but we’re also gonna keep rallying outside the courthouse.” Macdonald said. “We’re not taking their bogus deals. We’re not accepting the trumped-up charges. We’re gonna keep fighting it, because we know that we have the truth on our side.”

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About the Contributor
Eloise Pickering
Eloise Pickering, Worldview Editor
Eloise Pickering is a current freshman and the Worldview editor. She is a mass communication major, and her favorite movie is Spotlight. When not doing homework or working at the Maroon, Eloise can often be found pondering philosophically in Audubon Park. She has often been dubbed “The Thinker.” Eloise can be reached at [email protected].

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