Wendell Pierce No Longer Giving Rutgers Commencement Address

The university said today the actor "is declining to join us."

ByJoi-marie Mckenzie
May 16, 2016, 1:01 PM

— -- Wendell Pierce will no longer give the commencement speech at Rutgers University-Newark, the school announced today.

The actor, best known for his role as Detective Bunk Moreland on HBO's "The Wire," was arrested Saturday in Atlanta and charged with simple battery, police said.

In a Facebook post addressed to the university and "Newark community members," the school said it was "informed by actor and humanitarian Wendell Pierce that in order to assure that commencement 2016 will be a celebration of the accomplishments of our students free of distractions, he is declining to join us and consequently must decline the conferral of an honorary degree."

The school said that Soledad O'Brien will instead address the graduating class on May 18 inside the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey.

The news comes as Pierce, 52, was taken into custody early Saturday morning at Atlanta Lowes Hotel, where he was a guest. The actor was booked and released on $1,000 bond, according to Fulton County Jail records.

Police are expected to release more details about the incident today.

A rep for Pierce has not returned ABC News' request for comment.

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