Protesters at former U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions' speech at Northwestern University last month — who pushed, grabbed, and kicked campus police — were given $125 civil citations and no criminal offenses, the school said in a statement.
A "small number of individuals" were given the citations for disorderly conduct and interfering with the duties of a police officer, the school said, while an "overwhelming majority of the demonstrators were peaceful and adhered to university policies."
The school said the citations "were issued for conduct directed toward police, such as pushing, grabbing or kicking police officers as they attempted to perform their duties and secure the building."
'This is stupid'
Sessions reportedly blasted protesters during his speech, calling their frequent interruptions "trash," Fox News reported.
"I'm just going to tell you, this is stupid," Sessions said as students pounded on an auditorium door and chanted phrases such as "F*** Jeff Sessions" and "You are a racist, you put kids in cages," the Daily Northwestern student newspaper said.
"They can have a right to do it, OK, but at some point I have to speak," the former Alabama Republican U.S. senator added, according to the paper. "You shouldn't be blaming young Republicans for meticulously defending their beliefs and putting up with this kind of trash."
One video posted by Young America's Foundation shows several people tussling with campus security. One called herself a Northwestern student and screamed and cried, "We are fighting for our lives right now! ... And that man in there has violated every single one of us! And you all are standing here like nothing's going on! ... Y'all should be ashamed of yourselves, and I'm ashamed to call myself a student of Northwestern right now!"
Here's the clip. (Content warning: Language):
Protestors at Northwestern University www.youtube.com
Another video shows protesters apparently trying to enter the venue from a rear entrance followed by police involvement:
Photos showed security officers escorting Sessions — who was able to give his speech — from the venue:
Campus newspaper apologies — for doing its job
A week later, Northwestern's prestigious campus newspaper apologized for having "actively harmed" students through its coverage of the speech, such as posting "retraumatizing and invasive" photos of students at the public event and using the campus directory to call students for interviews.
The op-ed signed by Daily Northwestern staffers said "nothing is more important than ensuring that our fellow students feel safe — and in situations like this, that they are benefitting from our coverage rather than being actively harmed by it. We failed to do that last week, and we could not be more sorry."
Journalism school dean speaks out
Charles Whitaker — dean of Northwestern's renowned Medill School of Journalism, Media, Integrated Marketing Communications — blasted "naive" complaining student protesters and told professional journalists who criticized the Daily Northwestern to give the student journalists "a break."
Whitaker added that he was "deeply troubled by the vicious bullying and badgering that the students responsible for [the Sessions' speech] coverage have endured for the 'sin' of doing journalism."
But he didn't let the Daily Northwestern staffers off the hook for their apology, either, noting that their "well-intentioned gesture sends a chilling message about journalism and its role in society. It suggests that we are not independent authors of the community narrative, but are prone to bowing to the loudest and most influential voices in our orbit."
(H/T: Campus Reform)