STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (AP) – A state lawmaker is demanding that Penn State University’s president apologize for making the “hands up” gesture associated with nationwide protests over the killing of a black Missouri teenager by a white police officer.

University President Eric Barron joined students at a “die-in” protest outside of Penn State’s Old Main administration building last week. He was photographed joining students who put their hands up in protest of last summer’s killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri.

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Republican Rep. Jerry Knowles of Schuylkill County says Barron’s gesture was disrespectful and a “slap in the face to law enforcement.”

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Barron says he supports law enforcement but adds there’s “a portion of our population who feels more vulnerable by virtue of their appearance.” He says his purpose was to show solidarity with the student protesters.

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