ANALYSIS: UC Davis's anti-cop history makes administration unprepared for campus protest

University of California, Davis canceled a conservative speaker event after protesters clashed outside the venue.

The school has an anti-cop history, especially since 2020.

A University of California, Davis (UC Davis) Turning Point USA (TPUSA) event was shut down after protesters and counter-protesters reportedly brawled outside of the venue, causing safety concerns.

The chapter was set to host speaker Stephen Davis, also known as “MAGA Hulk,” on Oct. 25. However, KCRA News reported that nearly 100 protesters and counter-protesters clashed before the event began, resulting in “pepper spray being used, barricades being knocked down and traffic cones being removed.”

Campus Reform obtained videos from both inside and outside of the event, one of which showed a university official informing attendees the event would not occur.

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“Do not engage with any demonstrators, okay? Our ability to keep everyone safe is contingent on that,” the official said. 

Students inside the venue were then guided out of the building and away from the swarm of protestors. 

Another video shows a girl allegedly maced by protesters.

”They destroyed my property, took it away from me. They don’t even know I’m a conservative,” she told the camera.

UC Davis’ Melissa Blouin, a member of the school’s media relations team, directed Campus Reform to an Oct. 25 statement on the incident which confirmed no UC Davis police officers were deployed to the scene.

[The police] were on stand-by when fighting broke out, but the situation de-escalated on its own, eliminating the need for the police to engage,” Blouin stated

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UC Davis has made numerous efforts to defund its police department, leaving university officials unprepared for protests such as the late October incident. 

In November 2021, UC Davis announced that it would be eliminating three officer positions on campus and replacing them with non-police personnel.

Based on both local and systemwide recommendations, three vacant uniformed officer positions in the UC Davis Police Department have been eliminated, resulting in funds for three key positions to support reforms: a public safety policy analyst in Student Affairs; an analyst position to support data, accreditation and transparency efforts within the Police Department; and a new position dedicated to the Health 34  initiative,” UC Davis wrote in its press release. 

The university also took part in a “regular review of the arming of police” on campus to “ensure the campus Police Department is meeting the community’s needs.”

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In June of 2020, UC Davis School of Law held a “Police Violence, Race, and Protest” forum.

The forum drew in over 175 students, faculty, and alumni who “express[ed] their grief and sadness regarding the most recent examples of systemic violence toward people of color,” according to the school’s website

“Students and others made thoughtful suggestions, from enhancing critical race theory in the 1L curriculum to holding more public lectures featuring people of color who have been directly affected by the criminal justice system,” the article read.

Campus Reform contacted all parties mentioned and this article will update accordingly.

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