UCLA Vows to Hold ‘Instigators’ Who Attacked Gaza War Protesters ‘Accountable,’ Says LAPD Is Helping to Identify Them SuperNayr

In a statement sent to students and faculty on Monday, UCLA Chancellor Gene Block vowed to hold “accountable” the “instigators” of the vicious attack last Tuesday night on anti-Gaza war protesters at school’s now-dispersed encampment.

Calling the violence “a truly despicable act” against “students, faculty and staff members who were encamped to advocate for Palestinian rights,” Block wrote that Rick Braziel, UCLA’s associated Vice Chancellor and Chief Safety Officer, has been tasked to lead “a law enforcement investigation” to identify the attackers. Block also called on students to come forward with any information they may have.

As part of this, Block said, an LAPD detective has been “committed” to assist the investigation, the school has asked the FBI for possible assistance, and it has also asked LA County District Attorney George Gascón for “help in ensuring that the instigators will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”

Late on Tuesday, April 30, a right wing mob that Block previously confirmed appeared to consist mainly of people who do not attend UCLA attack the protest encampment violently, often with fireworks, tear gas and piped. The response from law enforcement — particularly UCLA police and security guards but also LAPD — has been heavily scrutinized. It ultimately took more than three hours to quell the attack and the attackers were allowed to leave without being arrested.

The Chief of the UCLA police department is now facing calls to resign.

Block didn’t directly address those issues, but in his statement he said the school is “conducting an analysis of UCLA’s security protocols and a broader assessment of all acts of violence over the last 12 days, including those against counter-protestors.”

The encampment was evicted early Thursday morning by LAPD and California Highway Patrol officers. The school announced Braziel’s new position as Chief Safety Officer on Sunday.

Read the full letter below:

Last Tuesday night, a group of instigators came to Royce Quad and violently attacked students, faculty and staff members who were encamped to advocate for Palestinian rights. This was a truly despicable act, and in my message to the campus the following day, I committed to finding those responsible and bringing them to justice.

This remains an important priority. To that end, inaugural Associate Vice Chancellor and Chief Safety Officer Rick Braziel is leading a law enforcement investigation to identify the perpetrators of the violence and hold them to account. The LAPD has committed a detective to assist in our investigative efforts, and we have also connected with the FBI about possible assistance. We have spoken to Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón to solicit his help in ensuring that the instigators will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. 

AVC Braziel and I have directed UCPD to invest whatever resources are needed to conduct a rapid and thorough investigation into the violent attack. UCPD is currently reviewing all available footage from last Tuesday night and speaking to witnesses who were present. We urge anyone who saw the violence firsthand or who has information about the attack to report it as soon as possible.  

Our new Office of Campus Safety — under AVC Braziel’s leadership — is also conducting a careful review of UCPD’s response to the Tuesday night attack. In addition, we are conducting an analysis of UCLA’s security protocols and a broader assessment of all acts of violence over the last 12 days, including those against counter-protestors. AVC Braziel’s office will create a plan that puts in place key learnings and additional means of protecting the well-being of everyone on our campus.

Holding the instigators of this attack accountable and enhancing our campus safety operations are both critical. Our community members can only learn, work and thrive in an environment where they feel secure. 

Source link

Leave a Comment