OSU’s Seth Towns detained by police during Columbus protest

Incoming Ohio State basketball transfer Seth Towns was detained by police on Friday during a protest in downtown Columbus, according to OSU sports site Eleven Warriors and confirmed by Cleveland.com.

Eleven Warriors posted a video of Towns being handcuffed by law enforcement late on Friday night as he continued to lead fellow protesters in chants.

Footage of Seth Towns in police custody earlier Friday at the scene of a protest in Columbus. Towns, an incoming Ohio State basketball transfer, graduated from Harvard Thursday.

Towns is no longer in police custody and is safe at home, according to a source. pic.twitter.com/kFptHH63BN

— Eleven Warriors (@11W) May 30, 2020

A photo of Towns being detained could also be seen in an Instagram post from a local Columbus photographer.

The protest in Columbus is just one of many that have popped up around the country in response to the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody.

Towns, who just graduated from Harvard on Thursday with a degree in sociology, was not arrested or charged. According to NBC Sports, Towns was protesting peacefully when the police asked him to move out of the street. He refused, which is when he was handcuffed and detained. Towns was reportedly then moved out of the street by the officers and released.

News of Towns’ detainment surfaced several hours after men’s basketball head coach Chris Holtmann posted his thoughts about Floyd’s death on Twitter.

“An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity.” Martin Luther King Jr. pic.twitter.com/xu0lPBVM1t

— Chris Holtmann (@ChrisHoltmann) May 29, 2020

Holtmann issued a second statement through the program on Saturday afternoon.

Towns, a Columbus native, was the 2017-2018 Ivy League Player of the Year. He’s spent the last two years recovering from several knee surgeries, and has two seasons of eligibility left. According to The Athletic’s Bill Landis, Towns and Holtmann spoke late Friday night.

On Saturday afternoon, the Twitter account for the Harvard men’s basketball team tweeted a supportive statement from Towns’ former coach, Tommy Amaker.

Towns has no regrets

Towns went on ESPN early on Sunday morning, and said he had no regrets about anything that happened.

He said he was protesting “like everyone else” when police suddenly grabbed him and put him in the back of a police van. 

“We have to be true to who we are and our voices,” Towns said on ESPN, via the Columbus Dispatch. “We have to use those voices to impact people, and there is a huge dilemma in this country right now that needs to be addressed and I won’t shut up. I won’t stop. I will continue to use my voice to speak out for the people who are unheard, and that’s what I did.

“A voice is so important, and when I say voice I’m not talking about speaking, per se. I’m talking about actions. I’m talking about going out and protesting and doing your duty as a member of this democracy.”

There were two big things that Towns said he noticed once he was handcuffed and placed inside the back of a police van.

“One, the solidarity I felt, the pain I felt amongst all the other protestors,” Towns said on ESPN, via the Dispatch. “There was no malice involved. They were just out there expressing their pain and demanding justice, which again, is their duty. The second thing, looking in the eyes of those police officers, each one standing on the front line. To many, it was just another day on the job and they felt no remorse. They felt no empathy, no sympathy for the people who are struggling out there, painfully protesting.

“And then the others who are also very scared. You could tell. You can look in their eyes and tell. There were many police officers who did not want to be there.”

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