UNC law student charged with domestic terrorism in Atlanta attack
A second-year law student at the University of North Carolina- Chapel Hill School of Law was arrested Sunday and charged with domestic terrorism in a coordinated crowd attack on the police training center in Atlanta. James “Jamie” Marsicano, 30, was among 23 people arrested after police say a group of demonstrators used the cover of a peaceful protest and the South River Music Festival to attack construction equipment and police officers. Police say 35 people were detained and the 23 were charged by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.
“They changed into black clothing and entered the construction area and began to throw large rocks, bricks, Molotov cocktails, and fireworks at police officers,” the Atlanta Police Department said in a media statement Sunday afternoon.
UNC School of Law confirmed to Carolina Journal that Marsicano is a law student there. Public relations manager Pace Sagester pointed out that the university has an Emergency Evaluation and Action Committee, made up of UNC leadership, including the chief of university police and the Dean of the law school.
“In accordance with University policies, there is a process under which the University may evaluate a student who has been arrested and charged with a serious crime,” Sagester said. UNC has not yet responded on whether or not this case has been referred to the EEAC.
Marsicano is listed on the UNC School of Law website as a Dean’s Fellow, with an undergraduate degree from Brown University.
Michael Marsicano, the suspect’s father, retired in January 2023 from 23 years as CEO of Foundation of the Carolinas. Also a Governing Board member at Duke University and Duke University Health System, Michael Marsicano was named to the top spot of the Most Powerful In Charlotte in 2017,. He and his wife Leslie have remained influential in the Charlotte area, leading Charlotte Mayor Vi Lyles $250 million Mayor’s Racial Equity Initiative.
James Marsicano’s bio on the UNC site lists a hometown of Charlotte and activities as “National Lawyers Guild, Outlaw, Organizing off campus.” Marsicano also goes by the alias, Jamie Marsica, or Marsicana, identifying as “a white trans femme organizer in Charlotte who is fiercely committed to supporting Black trans femmes, prison abolition, and destabilizing all forms of oppression. She/they was a core organizer during the Charlotte Uprising,” according to “The Funambulist.” Atlanta PD and the GBI list both names, “Marsicano” and “Mariscana,” with mugshots on the APD website, detailing Sunday’s violence and listing the names of those arrested.
Arrestee information: 23 total
All were charged with Domestic Terrorism- The Georgia Bureau of Investigations (GBI) is the charging agency.
Sunday’s arrest marks the latest in a string of Marsicano’s arrests stemming from anti-police demonstrations dating back to 2016.
James Marsicano was arrested in June of 2020 and charged with assault on a government official, resisting a public officer and disorderly conduct in an altercation with a police officer during George Floyd protests in uptown Charlotte.
Previously, in 2017, he was arrested at the Charlotte Douglas Airport in a Charlotte Uprising/Black Lives Matter skirmish with police when a protest against then-president Donald Trump’s executive order banning refugees and citizens from seven Muslim-majority countries turned physical. According to CMPD, Marsicano and five others were charged from that altercation with Resist, Obstruct and Delay and Trespass.
In 2016, Marsicano was also arrested and charged with disorderly conduct in protests after the Mecklenburg County District Attorney’s office decided not to file charges against the officer who shot and killed Keith Lamont Scott.
This time, the charges are domestic terrorism, and filed by the GBI.
“The agitators destroyed multiple pieces of construction equipment by fire and vandalism,” the police statement reads. “Multiple law enforcement agencies deployed to the area and detained several people committing illegal activity. The illegal actions of the agitators could have resulted in bodily harm. Officers exercised restraint and used non-lethal enforcement to conduct arrests.”
Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp issued a statement Sunday indicating zero tolerance for the violence displayed toward police on Sunday.
“As I’ve said before, domestic terrorism will not be tolerated in this state,” he said. “As we continue to respect peaceful protest, we will also continue to ensure safety in our communities. We will not rest until those who use violence and intimidation for an extremist end are brought to full justice.”
The Georgia Bureau of Investigation has not responded to inquiries by press time.