NYPD Chief Hits Back at AOC’s Columbia Claims

(RepublicanReport.org) – On April 17, a large group of students began protesting on the grounds of Columbia University in New York City (CUNY). While Columbia’s President, Dr. Minouche Shafik, was on Capitol Hill answering questions about antisemitism in front of Congress, students gathered in support of Palestinians. They wanted the university to cut ties with Israel until the genocide in Gaza ceased. More than 100 were arrested, and a New York lawmaker spoke out about the issue.

On April 24, Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) posted a clip of the NYPD counterterrorism officers on the scene at CUNY during the protest. She blasted the university for calling the NYPD on its own students and ripped into the police department for sending officers with the “most violent reputations on the force” to monitor the students at CUNY.

AOC asked why the department sent counterterrorism units when it had previously promised NYC not to dispatch a strategic response group (SRG) to the protest. NYPD Chief of Patrol John Chell didn’t waste time hitting back.

Chell responded on social media, claiming the Columbia students were “never taught” there were “consequences of their action.” He called the protestors “self-entitle[d],” adding that just because they might have high SAT scores doesn’t mean they are above the law. The chief also addressed AOC’s comment about his counterterrorism unit, stating they “removed students with great care and professionalism”—without incident.

Chell said the only problem on campus was those individuals allegedly using “hateful antisemitic speech” and cussing out the officers on scene. He encouraged the NY lawmaker to come to Columbia and New York University to listen to the hate speech herself, quipping that his units would protect her.

The CUNY protest, a constitutional right afforded by the First Amendment, sparked similar gatherings at universities all across the nation. While some are calling the pro-Palestinian protests antisemitic, others say they are not antisemitic but coordinated calls to stop the violence against civilians in Gaza.

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