ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. — UCF police are investigating after a campus clash between gun rights activist Kaitlin Bennett and protesters chanting, “Go home, Kaitlin! Go home, Kaitlin!”
What You Need To Know
- Activist said she visited UCF to ask who would be the best preident for Black Americans
- UCF students said they don't understand why her group was there
- Police said Bennett's group did not initially wear masks
- Police said they worked to de-escalate and promote freedom of expression
Bennett, a conservative activist who visits college campuses throughout the U.S., tweeted that she had visited UCF to ask students who would be a better president for Black Americans, former Vice President Joe Biden or current President Donald Trump.
At first, Bennett’s group did not comply with UCF’s policy requiring everyone to wear masks, but they later complied when they were asked to put them on, university authorities said.
Students said interactions between Bennett and the protesters became physical and were allowed to escalate.
"One of the students got choked,” student Alexis Torres said. “A kid literally got sucker-punched. It's really a big deal because we wanted to know why the cops let it escalate to that point in the first place and didn't stop and intervene before it got to that point."
"I'm honestly kind of offended at the fact that a woman who doesn't even attend this campus and has actually graduated from college still decides to come and pester college students for YouTube views," student Alexandra Wagahoff said.
Bennett, who attracted attention in 2018 for toting an AR-10 rifle around Kent State’s campus after graduating, tweeted on Thursday that she believed it was the protest group that violated campus policy with its large crowd.
In her tweets, she called the protesters “left wing” and urged President Donald Trump to defund public universities.
UCF did not immediately respond to questions about whether the crowd violated university policy requiring no large social gatherings.
In a statement, campus police conceded that they should have asked Bennett's group to put on masks sooner. They said they worked to protect freedom of expression while trying to de-escalate the situation.
The video from the confrontation attached to this story was provided by one of the UCF student protesters.