Professor emeritus Cornel West GS '80, was arrested Monday in Ferguson, Mo., during a “Moral Monday” march.
Protests have been ongoing in the St. Louis suburb since the death of Michael Brown, a black teenager who was shot and killed by Darren Wilson, a white police officer,on Aug. 9. Brown’s death raised concerns about police brutality and the militarization of the police in mostly low-income, black and Hispanic neighborhoods. His death also raised concerns as to how the media portrays black victims.
Protests have been reignited by the shooting and death of another black teenager, Vonderrit Myers, Jr., on Oct. 8 at the hands of an off-duty white police officer, whose name has not yet been released.
West could not be reached for comment. An assistant said he was traveling until Friday.
The "Moral Monday" march had over 2,000 attendees and West was the featured speaker at the rally. During his speech, he directed the crowd to focus their anger into initiatives that will effect change.
"Everybody knows if you shoot somebody down, you should be arrested," West told the attendees, according to an article by Rolling Stone.
During his speech, West stated that he came to the event so that he could be arrested.
"It's a beautiful thing to see people on fire for justice, but I didn't come here to give a speech; I came here to go to jail," Westsaid, according to an article by The Huffington Post. "The larger system has been victimizing and coming at [black youth]. Thank God the awakening is setting in, and any time the awakening sets in it gets a little messy."
West also marched arm-in-arm with religious leaders of different faiths. Police have said that West and over 40 others were arrested for disturbing the peace and that protesters attempted to break through police lines.
According to the St. Louis County Jail, West was released on Monday at 3:36 p.m.
West graduated magna cum laude from Harvard in 1973 with a degree in Near Eastern Languages and Civilization, and he earned his M.A. and Ph.D. in philosophy from the University in 1975 and 1980, respectively, and was the first African-American to earn a Ph.D. in philosophy at the University.
He taught at the University from 1988 until 1994 and again from 2002 to 2012, when he returned to Union Theological Seminary, where he is currently the professor of philosophy and Christian practice.
According to his website he has written 19 books and edited 13 books.