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Ohio State's Seth Towns Briefly Detained by Police Amid Protest for George Floyd

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistMay 30, 2020

Harvard forward Seth Towns, right, goes to the basket while defended by Saint Mary's center Jordan Hunter during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game at the Wooden Legacy tournament Thursday, Nov. 23, 2017, in Fullerton, Calif. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)
Ringo H.W. Chiu/Associated Press

Ohio State forward Seth Towns was detained by Columbus police Friday during a protest over the death of George Floyd.

School spokesperson Dan Wallenberg confirmed to ESPN's Myron Medcalf that Towns, a graduate transfer from Harvard, was detained briefly but not arrested during the protest.

Eleven Warriors provided video from the situation:

Eleven Warriors @11W

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. https://t.co/kFptHH63BN

Towns later took to Twitter to discuss his situation:

Seth πŸ’€ @seth_towns17

https://t.co/gVvhMcdi4G

Ohio State head coach Chris Holtmann released a statement on the situation:

Ohio State Hoops @OhioStateHoops

Statement from Coach Holtmann on @seth_towns17 https://t.co/yMrzEpIZlg

Floyd died Monday after being physically restrained in the custody of Minneapolis police by an officer driving his knee into Floyd's neck for over eight minutes while he was handcuffed and facedown on the ground. A video from a witness showed Floyd repeatedly telling the officer he was unable to breathe.

Four officers shown in the video were fired. Derek Chauvin, who was shown kneeling on Floyd's neck in response to an alleged forgery, was arrested Friday and charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter, per Brian Ries of CNN.

The situation has sparked nationwide protests over Floyd's death and racial inequality.

Ellie Lieberman @ellieliebs

Activist. Leader. College graduate. Athlete. Salute, @seth_towns17. πŸ“·: @Boogiedashootda https://t.co/YWBhkse1m3

Towns' presence at Friday's rally in Columbus came one day after he graduated from Harvard:

Seth πŸ’€ @seth_towns17

Today, I graduate from Harvard with a B.A. in Sociology. I celebrate this achievement not for my own ensuing yield, but for the beacon of light I may become for those following me. City League -> Ivy League. So excited for what’s to come. Who’d have thought? https://t.co/2oGdBWBV6F

Crimson head coach Tommy Amaker released a statement about his former player:

Harvard Basketball @HarvardMBB

A statement from Coach Amaker. https://t.co/vCG0YO9YBP

Holtmann told Medcalf he's been in contact with the forward.

"I did talk to Seth last night," he said. "He's back at his apartment. We had a great conversation."

Towns, a Columbus native, averaged 16.0 points, 5.7 rebounds and 1.8 assists per game for Harvard during the 2017-18 campaign. He missed the last two seasons because of injuries.

He'll be eligible to play for Ohio State during the 2020-21 season, should it take place amid the coronavirus pandemic.