The U.S. flag-stomping Valdosta State University student arrested for carrying a gun on campus is just a poor misunderstood kid, one Atlanta lawyer says.
After meeting with Eric Sheppard on Friday at the Hillsborough County Jail in Tampa, attorney Muwali Davis said the student is not a threat to the community, according to WCTV.
Sheppard rose to infamy after stomping on an American flag at a campus protest, then challenging social media users to videotape themselves doing the same. Authorities have accused him of having a gun on the Valdosta campus and making threats against officers.
In a statement released Friday, Davis said:
Eric’s decision not to fight extradition coupled with his peaceful surrender when arrested, confirms Eric is not a threat to the community. Unfortunately, what appears to be lost in the coverage of Eric’s activism as a student is that he is merely a college kid trying to figure out life under some extraordinary stressful circumstances. Physically he is fine, but mentally he is exhausted from living under the constant fear for his life as a result of the death threats and the bounty placed on his life by self-proclaimed “white supremacist” individuals and organizations. He does not wish anyone any harm and was reacting to the very aggressive and hostile threats of violence against him and the people close to him.
Eric has never been arrested or in any trouble. Even law enforcement authorities in Valdosta have dismissed statements they have made recently regarding Eric as a “publicity stunt”. Eric and his family would like to thank everyone who has prayed for his safe return to Georgia. He looks forward to learning from this experience and having an opportunity to properly process and address everything that has happened after he exercised his 1st Amendment right by engaging in public protest and freedom of speech. He remains committed to being a positive agent of change and helping improve the conditions under which many people in our society continue to struggle in.
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