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U.C.L.A. Removes Police Chief in the Wake of a Protest Melee


The campus police chief for the University of California, Los Angeles, has been removed from his post in the aftermath of a violent, hourslong attack on a pro-Palestinian encampment at the school, during which security officers did not intervene.

The chief, John Thomas, has been reassigned temporarily while the university examines its security processes, according to U.C.L.A. officials.

Mr. Thomas had been under intense criticism over the university’s delayed response to the melee that broke out on the night of April 30 in which people were beaten with poles or kicked, objects were thrown and chemicals were sprayed into the air. Many of those committing violence did not appear to be students.

Even after officers from the Los Angeles Police Department arrived on the scene, no arrests were made.

The university canceled in-person classes the next day, pushed back midterm exams and scrambled to address the overnight eruption of bloody violence.

Gawin Gibson has been named the acting police chief for the campus, Mary Osako, vice chancellor for strategic communications, said in a statement. Mr. Gibson was the captain of the university’s operations bureau, according to the school’s website.

“U.C.L.A. created a new Office of Campus Safety that is leading a thorough examination of our security processes, aimed at enhancing the well-being and safety of our community,” Ms. Osako said.



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