Internet InfoMedia university of california police union blasts ucla admin for lack of response to violence at campus protests

The police union representing officers at University of California schools is criticizing UCLA administrators for the “lack of response” to violence that broke out at anti-Israel student protests on campus last week.

The union also called for an independent investigation into the response.

“UC administrators are solely responsible for the University’s response to campus protests, and they own all the fallout from those responses,” Federated University Police Officers Association president Wade Stern said in a press release Saturday.

Hundreds of pro-Palestine demonstrators set up an encampment on UCLA’s campus in Royce Quad last week to demand that the university divest from companies and institutions that are “complicit in the Israeli occupation, apartheid, and genocide of the Palestinian people.”

UCLA STUDENT SLAMS UNIVERSITY FOR ‘ENCOURAGING VIOLENCE,’ TURNING CAMPUS INTO ‘WAR ZONE’: ‘THIS IS A DISGRACE’

Protesters wearing face masks

Police at UCLA were given permission to clear a massive anti-Israel demonstration. (Photo by ETIENNE LAURENT/AFP via Getty Images)

Early Wednesday morning, pro-Israel counter-protesters attacked the encampment, which started a clash between them and the anti-Israel protesters, Fox 11 reported. Fights broke out, fireworks were shot at demonstrators and items were thrown as part of the violence. 

Law enforcement initially stood by while the violence unfolded, according to Fox 11. Local police in riot gear did not respond to the scene until hours later. Law enforcement eventually moved in and cleared the encampment, and more than 200 protesters were arrested.

“”In the end, the encampment on Royce Quad was both unlawful and a breach of policy.,” UCLA Chancellor Gene Block said in a statement Thursday. “It led to unsafe conditions on our campus and it damaged our ability to carry out our mission. It needed to come to an end.”

Students told Fox 11 they were frustrated about the lack of response by the university. One security guard on campus said UCLA “could have stopped this a long time ago.”

California Gov. Gavin Newsom, a Democrat, condemned the violence and called for an investigation into the university’s response.

UCLA FALLS TO ANARCHY AFTER COUNTERPROTESTERS CONFRONT ANTI-ISRAELI ENCAMPMENT: ‘HORRIFIC ACTS OF VIOLENCE’

Clashes broke out on May 1, 2024 around pro-Palestinian demonstrations at UCLA.

Clashes broke out on May 1, 2024, around pro-Palestinian demonstrations at the University of California, Los Angeles, as universities around the United States struggle to contain similar protests on dozens of campuses. (ETIENNE LAURENT/AFP via Getty Images)

University of California President Michael Drake said in a statement Wednesday that he has “requested a detailed accounting from the campus about what transpired” and that he is “ordering an independent external review of both UCLA’s planning and actions, and the effectiveness of the mutual aid response.”

The police union said in its statement Saturday that the investigation will “undoubtedly uncover multiple failures to implement and adhere to UC’s own guidelines for response to campus protests.”

According to the union, University of California policy states that each school is responsible for establishing a task force to respond to student protests on campus, but that those task forces have not been trained since 2020. The union said the University of California and its campuses “have not funded any training.”

CALIFORNIA STATE OFFICIALS CONDEMN VIOLENT ANTI-ISRAEL PROTESTS AT UCLA

Counter protesters attack a pro-Palestinian encampment at UCLA.

Counter-protesters attack a pro-Palestinian encampment set up on the campus of the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) as clashes erupt, in Los Angeles on May 1, 2024. (ETIENNE LAURENT/AFP via Getty Images)

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The union also claimed that administrators told campus police to “stand down and stand aside” during the campus protests. The union said a Jewish student who called police asking for help because he was being blocked from a campus library was told by the dispatcher that administrators had told campus police not to intervene.

“The UCLA administration has much to answer for in the upcoming probe, and their adherence to established guidelines should play a central part,” the union’s statement said.

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