Police Fire Rubber Bullets at UCLA’s Pro-Palestine Protesters

Jason Armond / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images
Jason Armond / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

Law-enforcement officers reportedly fired rubber bullets into a crowd of pro-Palestine protesters during a chaotic night of demonstrations at the University of California, Los Angeles.

All told, at least 209 people were arrested by Thursday morning at the encampment in Dickson Plaza, the LAPD said, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Overnight, a large group of officers from the LAPD, California Highway Patrol, and UCLA’s campus police, converged descended on the encampment in full riot gear, ordering the group of over a thousand protesters to disperse. Many protesters remained, despite the warnings.

As the night went on, the officers eventually resorted to more violent methods of dispersal. In addition to using tear gas and stun grenades, police officers fired non-lethal ammunition at the protesters in the form of rubber bullets, according to the Los Angeles Times.

According to the outlet, one man was shot in the chest by a rubber bullet, after officers warned protesters to stop throwing objects at them. It is not clear if the man was among those launching projectiles at the police.

In footage obtained by CNN, an officer tells the videographer to “Move back, for your safety,” before turning and firing a weapon into the crowd at close range. Several videos posted to X by reporters showed officers firing what appeared to be rubber bullets at protesters.

It is still unclear how many protesters were injured on Thursday morning. UCLA Health has not yet responded to media inquiry.

The violent efforts by law enforcement to clear the encampment come one day after pro-Israel counter-protesters tried to tear down the group’s barricade, shot fireworks into the encampment, and attacked four student journalists, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Local and state officials have since condemned law-enforcement groups’ failure to respond to the incident in a timely way, allowing for the violent clash to grow, according to the Daily Bruin. Later on Thursday morning, groups of arrested protesters were rounded up into buses marked as Los Angeles County Sheriff prisoner transport, the outlet reported.

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