On Friday, police announced that they have identified the man caught on video physically assaulting a field representative working for the conservative Leadership Institute on the UC-Berkeley campus — but have yet to release details about his identity, including if he is a student at the school.
In video posted on Twitter by Turning Point USA’s Charlie Kirk last week, as well as additional footage published by Campus Reform, which is owned and operated by the Leadership Institute, a man wearing a black T-shirt and carrying a backpack repeatedly attacks a smaller man, Hayden Williams, who was helping TPUSA recruit students on the campus.
The confrontation took place Tuesday at the Upper Sproul Plaza, where campus police were called amid reports that a conservative activist was being assaulted. The Daily Californian, the student-run paper that was the first outlet to report the incident, reported that police were told that at around 3:29 p.m. Tuesday two males approached the TPUSA table and began to argue with the representatives.
Follow-up reports have since noted that the argument appears to have centered around signs TPUSA were displaying saying “Hate crime hoaxes hurt real victims” and reading “This is MAGA Country,” references to the notorious Jussie Smollett case, which Chicago police say was a hoax.
When Williams began to record the increasingly belligerent conversation, the man in the black shirt grew violent, slapping the activist’s phone out of his hand, calling him “racist,” and threatening him — at one point even declaring that he’d “shoot” him, as Williams’ recording shows.
A video taken by a witness shows the attacker shove Williams repeatedly and then punch him squarely in the face, which resulted in Williams having a severely swollen left eye, as shown in a photo tweeted out by Daily Wire contributor Bradley Devlin:
Below is a compilation video of the footage of the attack produced by Campus Reform (warning: language and violence):
Williams has since told Campus Reform that he noticed that some of the witnesses to the brutal attack were “laughing.”
“Some students nearby tabling were laughing, even one guy was smiling while I was being attacked and trying to hand me his flyer as a joke,” he said. “The idea is free speech has consequences … which include you getting assaulted if they find you promoting ideas others don’t agree with.”
After tweeting out the initial footage of the incident, Kirk issued a statement Thursday in which he called out the double standard of the media and the Left’s “tolerance” mantra.
“This assault reveals the hate and anger so many on the left harbor and that our student activists encounter on a daily basis,” said Kirk. “Our amazing grassroots organizers courageously face threats of violence and discrimination as they fight for the right for conservative voices to be heard on college campuses. I am proud of how our student activists at UC Berkeley comported themselves in what was a very scary and difficult situation. Sadly, if the roles were reversed and a conservative student wearing a MAGA hat had attacked a member of a leftist organization, the story would be a leading headline on the nightly news across all major networks. This is a hate crime pure and simple and the suspect should be held accountable.”
In response to the incident, school officials have condemned all forms of “violence and harassment of any sort, for any reason,” and say they will take appopriate action against the suspect. Multiple school officials have made a point of stressing that they had not yet confirmed if the attacker was a student at the school.