UCI Police Chief: Campus Police do not have the means to control boorish and intimidating behavior on campus

Correction: Paragraph three line one  should read :   The incidents occurred on May 15, 2008 during a campus rally sponsored by UC Irvine’s Muslim Student Union featuring controversial speaker Malik Ali.

UCI Police Chief: Campus Police do not have the means to control boorish and intimidating behavior on campus

Huntington Beach, CA– February 12, 2009–In a written response to criticism of  UCI’s Police Department investigation of complaints of assaults on a student journalist and a Christian evangelist,  UC Irvine Police Chief Paul Henisey stated the following:

“… I do agree there were certainly instances of boorish and intimidating behavior.  Some of this behavior involved people not associated with the University.  Neither the University nor the Police Department has the means or ability to control such rude or obnoxious behavior…”.

The incidents occurred on September 15, 2008 during a campus rally sponsored by UC Irvine’s Muslim Student Union featuring controversial speaker Malik Ali. The victims and eyewitnesses stated that campus police did not immediately intercede when the minister was shoved by several Malik Ali supporters.  The student journalist said that he was followed and threatened by Ali’s supporters after having his camera pushed in his face.  He said they became angered over his filming of the event.

In the past, concerns have been raised by campus organizations and others over inadequate police protection and the safety of UCI students and campus visitors during controversial events.   The university has also been criticized for allowing  MSU members to act as “security personnel”  during their campus events in place of uniformed UCI Police officers.  At a January 2009  MSU sponsored event on the UCI campus, Malik Ali told the crowd “… We will have to soon engage in civil disobedience , Civil disobedience! Yeah, acts of civil disobedience to bring this issue …of what’s taking place in Palestine…”

The president of  the pro-Israel campus group Anteaters for Israel, recently described the UC Irvine campus as “a hotbed for anti-Israel and anti-Semitic activism over the past seven years”.

According to the University of California’s  Policy on Student Conduct and Discipline,   Section 100-102.10: “Chancellors may impose discipline for:  “…Physical abuse …and other physical assault…threats of violence; or other conduct that threatens the health or safety of any person.…Stalking behavior in which a student repeatedly engages in a course of conduct directed at another person and makes a credible threat with the intent to place that person in reasonable fear for his or her safety…”.

Chief  Henisey said that  “The activities of this particular event have been reviewed by the University’s Judicial Affairs Officer and follow-up actions were initiated”.   However,  the university has not announced whether any disciplinary action has been taken against the individuals or groups responsible.

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