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UCLA police chief temporarily reassigned following violence at encampment

A pro-Palestinian encampment is seen cordoned off by stanchions on the UCLA campus on April 28. On Thursday, UCLA announced the reassignment of its chief of police following violence that erupted at the encampment days after this photo was taken. File Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI
A pro-Palestinian encampment is seen cordoned off by stanchions on the UCLA campus on April 28. On Thursday, UCLA announced the reassignment of its chief of police following violence that erupted at the encampment days after this photo was taken. File Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI | License Photo

May 23 (UPI) -- The chief of police at the University of California, Los Angeles, has been temporarily reassigned following violence that erupted on campus earlier this month centered on a pro-Palestinian encampment.

Mary Osako, vice chancellor for UCLA Strategic Communications, made the announcement in a statement Wednesday, saying John Thomas has been temporarily reassigned "pending an examination of our security processes."

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Gawin Gibson was named acting chief of police, effective Tuesday, she said.

The brief statement did not say to where Thomas was being reassigned, nor how long the reassignment would last.

The reassignment comes after UCLA announced May 5, the creation of a new Office of Campus Safety, which is leading an examination of the university's security processes after demonstrations on campus escalated to violence .

Like many universities throughout the country, a pro-Palestine encampment was erected on UCLA campus on April 25.

Days later, people the school described as "instigators" attacked the encampment, igniting clashes between pro-Palestine protesters and counter-protesters.

The school then requested assistance from police who forcibly dismantled the encampment, arresting more than 200 people in the process.

On Saturday, the Academic Senate of UCLA voted against issuing a "no confidence" vote against Chancellor Gene Block over his handling of the conflict.

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