Police Won’t Press Charges Against Students Who Allegedly Chased, Assaulted Conservatives
The Erie County District Attorney’s Office will not press charges against individuals who reportedly mobbed conservative students after an April 2022 event at the University of Buffalo (UB), the office confirmed to the Daily Caller News Foundation.
UB’s Young Americans for Freedom (YAF) chapter hosted former Republican Florida Rep. Allen West to speak on campus during the spring 2022 semester, after which three group members were chased across campus by a swarm of “50 to 100 people,” the student newspaper the Spectator reported. The police have since investigated reports that the three students had been harassed for months by conducting interviews and reviewing security cameras, but cannot identify responsible individuals.
The district office “could not prove that a crime occurred beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law,” it confirmed to the DCNF.
Police reports revealed that one YAF student claimed to have removed their shoes because they “could not run fast enough with them on” and hid in a bathroom, according to documents obtained by the Spectator. A second student reported to have run from protesters while a third was reportedly assaulted.
The third student said to have been “kicked … in the testicles and punched … twice in the back,” but could not identify the alleged assailant in videos taken at the scene nor provide a deposition, according to the Spectator.
NEW footage obtained by YAF shows several hundred BLM protestors chasing @YAF_UB Chairwoman Therese Purcell off into a men’s bathroom.
She had to call 911 to be escorted to safety. pic.twitter.com/oK8onZbmWM
— YAF (@yaf) April 8, 2022
“Although numerous individuals could be seen on security video following students through the campus after the event, the intent to harass or cause physical harm by any specific individual(s) could not be proven by the available evidence,” John Della Contrada, UB spokesperson, told the Spectator.
Individuals who follow people in a public place are guilty of harassment if they have the “intent to harass, annoy or alarm another person,” according to New York law.
Therese Purcell, former chapter chair, described the chase as “aggressive” in an April statement provided to The New Guard, Young America’s Foundation’s publication.
“I am unbelievably disturbed that I was chased by a leftist mob and scared for my life on my college campus all for hosting Lt. Col. Allen West, a conservative speaker,” she said. “I was aggressively chased by about 200 angry protesters and had to hide in a men’s bathroom from screaming leftists who were searching for me. The assault on free speech at University at Buffalo by an angry mob is incredibly unacceptable.”
The university has since committed to several changes including requiring students to work with university police to make a safety plan and developing a program for students to educate about free speech, the Spectator reported.
UB, the university police, YAF and the chapter did not immediately respond to the DCNF’s request for comment. Purcell could not be reached for comment.
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