UCLA announces new campus safety office after violent protests

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The University of California, Los Angeles said it will create a new office focused on campus safety after violence broke out at a pro-Palestine protest encampment last week.

Dozens of protesters were injured after counterprotesters assaulted the encampment overnight Wednesday for hours without police intervention, and police fired rubber bullets at the protesters Thursday while making arrests.

Chancellor Gene Block said Sunday in a message to students that “urgent changes are needed in how we administer safety operations,” adding that he is committed to a “thorough investigation of our security processes.”

The new Office of Public Safety will have oversight over campus police and emergency response, he said. The office is to be led by former Sacramento police chief Rick Braziel.

Block said violence at recent protests had “strained trust within our community,” but did not reference any specific incident.

The university also announced that students will return to class Monday after all of last week’s classes were canceled due to the protests. 

Over 200 UCLA students were arrested last week, California Highway Patrol said.

The UCLA clashes marked the most violence conflict in a nationwide movement of campus pro-Palestine protests. Hundreds of college campuses have seen similar protests in recent weeks, with over 2,000 students being arrested nationwide.

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