UPDATED: Controversial, Student-Led Event Goes On As Planned

Updated March 30: Both subjects who were arrested are not affiliated with UC Davis. The Yolo County district attorney’s office has filed charges on both for threats on a police officer, conspiracy to commit vandalism, vandalism and resisting arrest.

Originally published March 14: Tonight’s event organized by Turning Point USA at UC Davis, a registered student organization, occurred with minor incidents. 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, where the event was held.

One of those taken into custody, who is not affiliated with UC Davis, was charged with misdemeanor vandalism and resisting arrest, and the other, who had not been identified, was charged with vandalism, resisting arrest and threats on a police officer. 

Protesters approached the northeast entrance and broke 10 glass panes in the doors but did not gain access to the building and left the area. No arrests were made related to the breaking of the glass.

As the event continued, protesters remained outside.

UC Davis’ security planning over the last several weeks allowed the students to successfully hold their event. Their invited speaker, Charlie Kirk, took the stage in front of an audience of about 500 people.

Outside the University Credit Union Center, about 100 protesters gathered and for brief times blocked the main event entrance and the pathway to the entrance. At one point, they threw eggs and other objects. There were some reports of people being pepper sprayed by others in the crowd. Aside from these pepper spray reports, no major physical injuries were reported and no one requested treatment for injuries.

For safety reasons, tickets were required and limited to 1,000. Admission to the venue included showing an ID that corresponded with a person’s ticket and passing through metal detectors. No bags or backpacks were allowed inside the venue; in two instances, people who got through with bags were asked to take them back to their vehicles, after which they could return.

Free speech

As a public university, we must uphold the right to free speech, as guaranteed under the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, even when that speech may be hateful, offensive or abusive. Our campus’s Principles of Community affirm the right of freedom of expression within our community, including the right to protest speech we oppose. UC Davis is committed to supporting a campus environment that is inclusive and respectful to people of all backgrounds and dedicated to the pursuit of deeper understanding through the free and civil exchange of ideas.

Chancellor Gary S. May earlier in the day released a video about the university’s support for freedom of expression.

About UC Davis

Located near the California state capital, UC Davis has more than 40,000 students. The campus has an annual research budget of more than $1 billion, a comprehensive health system and about two dozen specialized research centers. The university offers interdisciplinary graduate study and more than 100 undergraduate majors in four colleges and six professional schools.

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