Police have to protect Trump supporters from mob at USC
Campus police escorted two Trump supporters from the premises of the University of Southern California when a mob threatened their safety following a gubernatorial town hall.
The town hall, a partnership between USC, the Empowerment Congress, and Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, took place in USC’s Bovard Auditorium on Saturday, January 13. Arthur Schaper and Harim Uzziel told Campus Reform that they attended the event to inform their votes for governor and show their support for President Trump and candidate Travis Allen.
As the pair took their seats, protesters with signs declaring “people over profit” hounded them for their evident political views. When the protesters began chanting the slogan, some audience members quietly booed, while Shaper retorted that “people need profit” and “profit makes people stronger.”
A woman sitting in front of the pair then turned around and told Uzziel to be quiet. Uzziel defended his right to civilly reply to the protestors. The woman then reported him to the campus police, who pulled him out of his seat to discuss the incident outside the auditorium.
Uzziel explained the situation, and the police permitted him to return to his seat after hearing both sides of the dispute. Meanwhile, event security did not question a disruptive woman screaming about single-payer health insurance.
Following the town hall, another young woman tried to block Schaper’s camera by throwing a container of food at him. Multiple bystanders made derogatory comments directed at Uzziel, and at one point a man walked up to Schaper and berated him, saying, “You’re an example of white privilege.”
“It went from 0-10 in about two minutes,” Shaper told Campus Reform.
One man made a vulgar gesture in front of the pair. When they confronted him about the public display of profanity, he asked them, “Where are your swastikas?” Uzziel, who is Jewish, wears a large star of David on a chain around his neck.
The man then went after Schaper, aggressively confronting him. Schaper backed away while the man advanced, and just as the man came close to making physical contact, Uzziel stepped in between them and a police officer gently guided the man away.
Two officers then approached Schaper and Uzziel, who complained that the officers were not focusing their attentions on the man who “attacked” them.
“What you have to understand is that’s probably gonna happen over here,” one officer said in response to their concerns.
A group of approximately 20 students then gathered around the pair and a heated verbal altercation ensued. An older man who was part of the group attempted to steal Uzziel’s Trump banner, but police quickly intervened and prevented the man’s repeated attempts to accost the pair.
As the situation became more heated, Schaper asked the campus police what course of action they would like the pair to take, and the officers offered to escort Schaper and Uzziel off the campus.
As they left campus, the group of students followed them, apparently waiting for the police to leave. The elderly man approached Schaper, whispering “You’re gonna lose that camera.” When one of the students offered him support, he replied, “Let me take care of this.”
“You take that flag, boy!” responded the student.
One security guard expressed concern for his own safety. Schaper asked a conservative Hispanic student accompanying them if he usually experiences similar levels of aggression on campus.
“I stay quiet. I can’t say anything,” the student told him.
When Uzziel replied “That’s too bad, this is America,” the student responded, “Not in LA.”
The police then drove the pair to their car.
“They are supposed to be adults. They are supposed to be able to contain themselves if they don’t like what they are seeing or hearing,” Schaper told Campus Reform.
“This is bigotry; this is racism,” he added, describing the attacks against Uzziel as particularly intense due to his Hispanic-Jewish ethnicity.
The USC Department of Public Safety did not respond to multiple requests for comment.
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