May 24, 2024 The Newspaper Serving LGBT Los Angeles

UCLA Chancellor Announces Investigation Into Attack on Student Encampment

Chancellor Block’s Statement Comes Five Days After Violent Assault on Campus

A full five days after the terrifying events of the night of April 30 and the early morning hours of May 1, Chancellor Gene Block has released a statement regarding an investigation of the group of 100 men who attacked the UCLA student Palestine Solidarity Encampment for four and a half hours. Students were beaten, and assaulted with bear spray, fireworks were fired into and thrown into the camp, and projectiles were hurled at them as they attempted to defend themselves from a group that seemed intent on doing as much damage as possible and break into the encampment.

What the attackers planned to do once they got into the camp never came to fruition as the students managed to fend off the violent assault on their encampment until Mayor Karen Bass gave UCLA’s administration the okay to call in the Los Angeles Police Department at 1:00 a.m. UCPD stood off to the side and did nothing while the men attempted to storm the camp’s barricades for hours. 

We reported on this attack last week and this reporter was also assaulted, menaced, and bear-sprayed for the crime of documenting the enraged aggressions as they happened. The UCPD ignored any attempt to report any of the violent acts that night. UCLA has stated that 15 students were hospitalized, while the UCLA Palestine Solidarity Encampment has stated that 25 students were hospitalized.

Chancellor Block’s statement reads as follows: 

Dear Bruin Community:

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. 

Sincerely,

Gene D. Block
Chancellor

in NEWS
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