University of California President Launches Investigation into UCLA’s Response to Counter Protestors Attack of Pro-Palestine Encampment

In response to the violence on UCLA’s campus, law enforcement began dismantling the pro-Palestine encampment on Thursday.

University of California President Launches Investigation into UCLA’s Response to Counter Protestors Attack of Pro-Palestine Encampment

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LOS ANGELES – In response to the violence that erupted late Tuesday after a group of counter protestors wearing black clothes and white masks tried to tear down a pro-Palestine encampment at UCLA, University of California President Michael V. Drake has ordered an independent review of the school’s planning, actions, and response by law enforcement, reports the Los Angeles Times.

For more than three hours late Tuesday and early Wednesday, counter-protestors threw objects and launched fireworks at the camp and the pro-Palestine protestors who were inside. Some of the counter-protestors attempted to get inside the encampment, and the pro-Palestine protestors used pepper spray to defend themselves. There were many fights and altercations.

Police eventually moved into the fracas at about 3 a.m., including the LAPD, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, and California Highway Patrol.

At least 15 people were reported injured, including one requiring hospitalization, reports ABC7News.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom condemned Tuesday’s violence at UCLA, saying in a statement: “The law is clear: The right to free speech does not extend to inciting violence, vandalism, or lawlessness on campus. Those who engage in illegal behavior must be held accountable for their actions – including through criminal prosecution, suspension, or expulsion.” The governor also criticized law enforcement’s delayed response to the unrest.

The Los Angeles chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-LA) also condemned the violence and called for an investigation into the delayed response by police.

We strongly condemn this mob of pro-Israel extremists for violently attacking students at the UCLA encampment last night and we call on political leaders to do to the same,” CAIR-LA said in a statement. “Free speech should never be met with crimes of hate. The pro-Israel extremists responsible for last night’s violence must be identified and prosecuted.”

Additionally, the Jewish Federation of Los Angeles issued a statement condemning the violence and the counter-protestors: “The abhorrent actions of a few counter protestors last night do not represent the Jewish community or our values. We believe in peaceful, civic discourse.”

In response to the unrest, law enforcement began dismantling the pro-Palestine demonstrators’ encampment early Thursday morning, reports the Associated Press. Hundreds of protestors have been arrested.

As police moved in, the pro-Palestine protestors chanted “Where were you last night?” in reference to the three-hour delay in law enforcement’s response to the counter-protestors who attacked the encampment the night before.

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About the Author

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Robin has been covering the security and campus law enforcement industries since 1998 and is a specialist in school, university and hospital security, public safety and emergency management, as well as emerging technologies and systems integration. She joined CS in 2005 and has authored award-winning editorial on campus law enforcement and security funding, officer recruitment and retention, access control, IP video, network integration, event management, crime trends, the Clery Act, Title IX compliance, sexual assault, dating abuse, emergency communications, incident management software and more. Robin has been featured on national and local media outlets and was formerly associate editor for the trade publication Security Sales & Integration. She obtained her undergraduate degree in history from California State University, Long Beach.

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