Two people were arrested and one police officer was injured Tuesday night after a mix of protesters and black-clad rioters clashed with authorities and damaged property at the University of California, Davis, in protest of a Turning Point USA event featuring Charlie Kirk.
Kirk, who founded the nationwide conservative organization of 250,000 student members, spoke to approximately 500 attendees at the left-leaning university about American values.
However, before the audience could access the venue, about 100 protesters and some rioters blocked the main entrance and pathway, UC Davis officials said.
“Outside the UCUC, about 100 protesters gathered and for brief times blocked the main event entrance and the pathway to the entrance,” the school told Fox News. “One officer sustained an injury when he was jumped on from behind and pushed to the ground, and two people were arrested and taken to Yolo County Jail for allegedly painting graffiti on an exterior wall of the University Credit Union Center, or UCUC, where the event was held.”
Videos posted to social media show some rioters kicking in glass windows at the venue, while other reports show the group throwing eggs and other objects. Officials also noted that crowd members were pepper spraying attendees trying to enter the building.
🚨BREAKING: Antifa is attempting to overrun the venue hosting Charlie Kirk at UC Davis. They have begun violently smashing through the windows in an attempt to shut down the voice of those they oppose pic.twitter.com/2EXQprQAZJ
— Turning Point USA (@TPUSA) March 15, 2023
UC Davis: at approx 18:05 the mob of far-left radical conspiracy theorists surrounded the main entrance of the event screaming at event attendees and preventing them from attending the event. At one point they call me out by name. @charliekirk11 | @TPUSA @FrontlinesShow pic.twitter.com/7hSGtIb0nw
— Kalen D’Almeida (@fromkalen) March 15, 2023
“Aside from these pepper spray reports, no major physical injuries were reported and no one requested treatment for injuries,” UC Davis officials said.
Kirk later referred to the rioters, who reportedly broke ten glass window panes, as “terrorists” to the audience.
“We’re not going to put up with force of trying to shut down people you don’t like … and tonight is a statement to them that they’re the losers,” Kirk said.
— Rebecca Brannon (@RebsBrannon) March 15, 2023
UC Davis officials told Fox News that the unidentified person taken into custody by authorities was not affiliated with the university.
Most agitators held signs supporting the “LGBTQIA2S+” community, covering their identity with umbrellas.
UC Davis Chancellor Gary S. May shared a video on YouTube in which he referred to the Turning Point USA founder as “a well-documented proponent of misinformation and hate and who has advocated for violence against transgender individuals.”
May said that while he “abhors the inflammatory speech” of Kirk, the university did not invite or sponsor him to speak on the campus.
He said the university abides by the policy that allows registered student organizations, such as Turning Point USA, to reserve campus facilities to host speakers of their choice, “even if the speaker’s intended speech is loathsome and hurtful to me and to others in our campus community.”
“As a campus that is committed to our principles of community,” May said. “UC Davis stands with our transgender and non-binary Aggies in opposition to the hateful and divisive messaging.”
The rhetoric from the university’s chancellor echoed similar sentiments from an op-ed with the California-based news outlet Sacramento Bee, which called for UC Davis to cancel the event and falsely accused Kirk of advocating for the “lynching” of transgender-identifying people.
“Charlie Kirk has called for the lynching of trans people, a comment that should warrant the cancelation of his speaking engagement at UC Davis,” the outlet said in a since-deleted tweet.
Kirk denied the inflammatory headline and article and threatened to sue the outlet, which removed the article from its site and reposted it, referring to Kirk as a “far-right” leader.
“Sacbee reporter has deleted previous tweet parroting the ‘lynching trans’ lie,” Kirk said in a tweet. “I hope no one was hurt over a complete fabrication of something I NEVER said but was nevertheless originally spread by a trans activist and liar.”
Sacbee reporter has deleted previous tweet parroting the “lynching trans” lie. I hope no one was hurt over a complete fabrication of something I NEVER said but was nevertheless originally spread by a trans activist and liar @ErinInTheMorn https://t.co/NO0icuC2xj
— Charlie Kirk (@charliekirk11) March 15, 2023