Richmond, VA – A man was arrested twice on Thursday for causing disturbances at the Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) campus.
Tyler Lloyd, 27, started of the day by yelling at people outside of the library, while he held up a sign that read, “2018 New Year’s Resolution for Black Guys – Prevent N****r Moments,” WTVR reported.
Lloyd, who was not a student at the university, continued his antics as someone began playing a trombone to drown out his words.
Others held up signs calling for peace, WRIC reported.
“What began as a small group near the man grew to about 200 people,” a VCU Police spokesperson told WTVR. “Police stood between the man and the crowd to maintain order and ensure safety.”
One officer addressed the crowd, and urged them not to empower Lloyd by reacting to him.
“Everybody has the right to say what they want,” the officer said. “I don’t have to like it. Nobody has to like it.”
“This right here?” the officer continued. “The only thing you’re doing right now? You’re feeding this man’s ego! That’s all you’re doing. You’ve got the smarts here, so if you’re really that smart, why are you out here feeding into this?”
The crowd then erupted into applause and shouts of agreement.
VCU administrators eventually concluded that Lloyd’s behavior was causing a “significant disruption to university operations,” WRIC reported.
When VCU police asked him to leave, he refused, so Lloyd was arrested for trespassing.
But he wasn’t finished yet.
As soon as he left jail, Lloyd went back to the campus with a new sign.
“Why is it that only students have FREEDOM here,” Lloyd’s latest scribbling read.
Police again arrested him for trespassing.
Lloyd was enrolled at VCU in the fall of 2015, but had no affiliation with the school at the time of his one-man demonstrations.
VCU freshman Yasmeen Galvez told the Richmond Times-Dispatch that Lloyd is often seen around campus holding up signs, and has come to be known as “sign guy.”
She said police have been called to intervene between Lloyd and others in the past, but that this was the first time she knew of that he was actually arrested.
She said she even tried to talk to him on prior occasions, but that he didn’t seem to be interested in conversation.
“He’s basically inciting a riot each time he comes,” she said.
Do you think that Lloyd’s conduct is criminal disorderly conduct or is he just exercising his freedom of speech? We’d like to hear from you. Please let us know in the comments.