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NYPD Patrol Chief Tells Newsmax: More Worried About Students ‘Mocking Police’

New York Police Department Chief of Patrol John Chell (Credits: NY1)

New York Police Department Chief of Patrol John Chell expressed serious concerns over the behavior of Columbia University students during recent protests on campus.

In an interview with Newsmax TV’s “American Agenda,” Chell detailed the events surrounding a pro-Palestinian demonstration at the university, which escalated into a larger conflict involving police and students.

The protest began on a Wednesday morning with a group of students establishing a “tent city” on the West Lawn of Columbia University as part of their call for the school to divest from economic and academic stakes in Israel.

NYPD Chief of Patrol John Chell (Credits: New York Daily News)

Despite the university’s warning that participants would be suspended if they did not vacate the area, the students continued their demonstration overnight.

By Thursday morning, after ongoing discussions with the university, police were directed to remove the trespassers. Chell highlighted that the 108 students arrested during the clearance were peaceful during their protest and compliant during the arrest process.

However, Chell’s main concern was with a larger group of approximately 500 students who left their classes to join the fray, exhibiting hostile behavior towards the police and expressing vehement anti-Israel sentiments.

John Chell (Credits: Gothamist)

He described the situation as “sad” from both a law enforcement and parental perspective, emphasizing the distressing nature of the students’ actions and the broader implications for the community and educational environment.

The incident reflects ongoing tensions and the complex dynamics of campus activism, free speech, and law enforcement interaction, especially in the context of the longstanding and highly charged Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

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