NATIONAL NEWS

Police move in to clear NYU encampment, US campus arrests grow to 2,200 in pro-Palestinian protests

May 3, 2024, 6:44 AM | Updated: 6:45 am

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - MAY 02: California Highway Patrol (CHP) officers clear a pro-Palestinian ...

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - MAY 02: California Highway Patrol (CHP) officers clear a pro-Palestinian encampment after dispersal orders were given at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) campus, on May 2, 2024 in Los Angeles, California. The camp was declared ‘unlawful’ by the university and more than 100 protestors who refused to leave were detained during the operation. Pro-Palestinian encampments have sprung up at college campuses around the country with some protestors calling for schools to divest from Israeli interests amid the ongoing war in Gaza. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

(Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Police moved in to clear an encampment at New York University on Friday at the request of school officials, the latest development in weeks of pro-Palestinian protests at college campuses nationwide that have resulted in nearly 2,200 arrests with police sometimes using riot gear, tactical vehicles and flash-bang devices to clear tent encampments and occupied buildings.

Deputy Commissioner of Operations Kaz Daughtry posted on X that NYU requested police assistance “to disperse the illegal encampment on their property.” Daughtry said police “are on site.” Details on possible arrests were not immediately available. A message seeking comment was sent to an NYU spokesperson.

Earlier in the week, more than 100 people were taken into custody during a crackdown at Columbia University, where the protests and encampments over the Israel-Hamas war began.

One officer accidentally discharged his gun inside Columbia’s Hamilton Hall while clearing out protesters camped inside Tuesday, authorities said. No one was injured, the NYPD said Thursday. He was trying to use the flashlight attached to his gun at the time and instead fired a single round that struck a frame on the wall.

There were other officers but no students in the immediate vicinity, officials said. Body camera footage shows when the officer’s gun went off, but the district attorney’s office is conducting a review, a standard practice.

A tally by The Associated Press recorded at least 56 incidents of arrests at 43 different U.S. colleges or universities since April 18. The figures are based on AP reporting and statements from universities and law enforcement agencies.

Early Thursday, officers surged against a crowd of demonstrators at University of California, Los Angeles, ultimately taking at least 200 protesters into custody after hundreds defied orders to leave, some forming human chains as police fired flash-bangs to break up the crowds. Police tore apart a fortified encampment’s barricade of plywood, pallets, metal fences and dumpsters, then pulled down canopies and tents.

Like at UCLA, tent encampments of protesters calling on universities to stop doing business with Israel or companies they say support the war in Gaza have spread across other campuses nationwide in a student movement unlike any other this century.

Protester arrested outside University of Utah commencement ceremonies

Israel has branded the protests antisemitic, while Israel’s critics say it uses those allegations to silence opposition. Although some protesters have been caught on camera making antisemitic remarks or violent threats, protest organizers — some of whom are Jewish — call it a peaceful movement to defend Palestinian rights and protest the war.

President Joe Biden on Thursday defended the right of students to peaceful protest but decried the disorder of recent days.

The demonstrations began at Columbia on April 17 with students calling for an end to the Israel-Hamas war, which has killed more than 34,000 Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, according to the Health Ministry there. Israel launched its offensive in Gaza after Hamas militants killed about 1,200 people, mostly civilians, on Oct. 7 and took roughly 250 hostages in an attack on southern Israel.

On April 18, the NYPD cleared Columbia’s initial encampment. The demonstrators set up new tents and defied threats of suspension, and escalated their actions early Tuesday by occupying Hamilton Hall, an administration building that was similarly seized in 1968 by students protesting racism and the Vietnam War.

Roughly 20 hours later, officers stormed the hall. Video showed police with zip ties and riot shields streaming through a second-floor window. Police had said protesters inside presented no substantial resistance.

The officer’s gun went off at 9:38 p.m., the NYPD said, about 10 minutes after police started pouring into Hamilton Hall. The department did not name the officer, whose actions were first reported by news outlet The City on Thursday.

The confrontations at UCLA also played out over several days this week. UCLA Chancellor Gene Block told alumni on a call Thursday afternoon that the trouble started after a permitted pro-Israel rally was held on campus Sunday and fights broke out and “live mice” were tossed into the pro-Palestinian encampment later that day.

In the following days, administrators tried to find a peaceful solution with members of the encampment and expected things to remain stable, Block said.

That changed late Tuesday, he said, when counterdemonstrators attacked the pro-Palestinian encampment. Campus administrators and police did not intervene or call for backup for hours. No one was arrested that night, but at least 15 protesters were injured. The delayed response drew criticism from political leaders, including California Gov. Gavin Newsom, and officials pledged an independent review.

By Wednesday, the encampment had become “much more of a bunker” and there was no other solution but to have police dismantle it, Block said.

The hourslong standoff went into Thursday morning as officers warned over loudspeakers that there would be arrests if the crowd — at the time more than 1,000 strong inside the encampment as well as outside of it — did not disperse. Hundreds left voluntarily, while another 200-plus remained and were ultimately taken into custody.

Meanwhile, protest encampments at other schools across the U.S. have been cleared by police — resulting in more arrests — or closed voluntarily. But University of Minnesota officials reached an agreement with protesters not to disrupt commencements, and similar compromises have been made at Northwestern University in suburban Chicago, Rutgers University in New Jersey and Brown University in Rhode Island. Others have taken steps to hire extra security.

___

Watson reported from San Diego, Keller from Albuquerque, New Mexico, and Thompson from Buffalo, New York. Associated Press journalists around the country contributed to this report, including Kavish Harjai, Krysta Fauria, Leslie Ambriz, John Antczak, Lisa Baumann, Jae C. Hong, Colleen Long, Karen Matthews, Sarah Brumfield, Philip Marcelo, Steve Karnowski and Gene Johnson.

KSL 5 TV Live

National News

Clockwise from top left: Jody Settle, Alberto Locascio, Tobias Noboa and Wilmard Santiago. (Courtes...

Ashley R. Williams, CNN

The Covid-19 public health emergency is over, but tales of loss remain. This website offers the bereaved a digital safe space

The "WhoWeLost" website was launched in 2020 in Kentucky and is home to around 2,000 published and yet-to-be-published stories. It serves as a digital haven for those still grieving COVID-19 where they can write about their losses in a comment-free environment without interactions, judgment or internet trolls.

15 minutes ago

A ship is seen off the coast of Gaza near a US-built floating pier that will be used to facilitate ...

Colin McCullough, Jessie Yeung, Nadeen Ebrahim, and Lucas Lilieholm, CNN

US military starts delivering aid to Gaza through floating pier. Here’s what we know

Trucks carrying humanitarian aid into Gaza have begun moving ashore after arriving through the floating pier built by the US military, according to the US Central Command (CENTCOM).

2 hours ago

FILE - In this image taken from San Francisco Police Department body-camera video, the husband of f...

Olga R. Rodriguez, Associated Press

Man gets 30 years in prison for attacking ex-Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s husband with a hammer

A man has been sentenced to 30 years in prison for attacking the husband of then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi with a hammer.

15 hours ago

This photo provided by Vermont State University shows Max the Cat stands in front of Woodruff Hall ...

Associated Press

A college puts the ‘cat’ into ‘education’ by giving Max an honorary ‘doctor of litter-ature’ degree

A Vermont university has bestowed the honorary degree of “doctor of litter-ature” on a cat named Max who has become a beloved member of its community.

17 hours ago

RCMP Superintendent serious crimes branch David Hall speaks about Alberta RCMP linking four histori...

Rob Gillies, Associated Press

Dead US serial sex offender linked to 4 slain Canadian young women

Canadian police say they have linked the deaths of four young women nearly 50 years ago to a now deceased U.S. fugitive who hid in Canada from the mid 1970s to the late 1990s.

17 hours ago

NEW YORK - FEBRUARY 04:  Sesame Street characters Ernie, Bert, Elmo, Abby Cadabby, Zoe and Cookie M...

Emma Benson

‘Elmo loves you!’ Our favorite red Muppet stars in mental health campaign

May is Mental Health Awareness Month, and we all deal with stress and different emotions. In January, Elmo asked a simple question online that sparked a huge conversation.

19 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Electrician repairing ceiling fan with lamps indoors...

Lighting Design

Stay cool this summer with ceiling fans

When used correctly, ceiling fans help circulate cool and warm air. They can also help you save on utilities.

Side view at diverse group of children sitting in row at school classroom and using laptops...

PC Laptops

5 Internet Safety Tips for Kids

Read these tips about internet safety for kids so that your children can use this tool for learning and discovery in positive ways.

Women hold card for scanning key card to access Photocopier Security system concept...

Les Olson

Why Printer Security Should Be Top of Mind for Your Business

Connected printers have vulnerable endpoints that are an easy target for cyber thieves. Protect your business with these tips.

Modern chandelier hanging from a white slanted ceiling with windows in the backgruond...

Lighting Design

Light Up Your Home With These Top Lighting Trends for 2024

Check out the latest lighting design trends for 2024 and tips on how you can incorporate them into your home.

Technician woman fixing hardware of desktop computer. Close up....

PC Laptops

Tips for Hassle-Free Computer Repairs

Experiencing a glitch in your computer can be frustrating, but with these tips you can have your computer repaired without the stress.

Close up of finger on keyboard button with number 11 logo...

PC Laptops

7 Reasons Why You Should Upgrade Your Laptop to Windows 11

Explore the benefits of upgrading to Windows 11 for a smoother, more secure, and feature-packed computing experience.

Police move in to clear NYU encampment, US campus arrests grow to 2,200 in pro-Palestinian protests