Student who wore gorilla mask at Black Lives Matter rally indicted on charges

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (AP) _ A grand jury has indicted a former East Tennessee State University student who police said disrupted an on-campus Black Lives Matter rally while wearing a gorilla mask and carrying a rope and bananas.

Assistant District Attorney Erin McArdle confirmed this week to news outlets that a Washington County grand jury indicted Tristan Rettke of Hendersonville on two counts of civil rights intimidation, two counts of disorderly conduct and disrupting a meeting.

Tristan Rettke

Police say Rettke dressed in overalls, wore a gorilla mask and dangled bananas tied with rope in people’s faces at the Sept. 28 protest.

Witnesses testified that Rettke used racial slurs, intimidated them and made them fearful.

His attorney Patrick Denton says Rettke was exercising his freedom of speech and did not intimidate anyone.

Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.