Gun rights activist Kaitlin Bennett says ‘riot’ broke out during appearance at Ohio University

Local News

WARNING: Social media posts embedded in this story contain strong language.

ATHENS, Ohio (WCMH) — A gun rights activist is calling for President Donald Trump to strip funding from Ohio University after she says a ‘riot’ broke out when she tried to record a video on campus.

MORE: ‘Gun girl’ Kaitlin Bennett says she plans open carry walk at Ohio University

In a Twitter post, Kaitlin Bennett said she and Dayton talk radio host Joel Patrick were faced with a riot when they showed up at Ohio University. They were there to record a video for Bennett’s website, Liberty Hangout.

In 2018, graduation photos of Bennett carrying an AR-10 rifle on Kent State’s campus went viral, resulting in her gaining a large social media following. She currently has more than 278,000 followers on Twitter.

A video posted by Bennett shows a crowd of students surrounding her vehicle as Patrick drives through campus. Several people in the crowd throw drinks at the vehicle as it slowly moves along.

Videos from others on campus show crowds shouting Bennett down in various campus locations.

Ohio University responded to the incident:

Early this afternoon an activist appeared unexpectedly on the Ohio University campus in Athens and engaged in Constitutionally protected activity. She drew a large crowd of people, many with opposing viewpoints, who also chose to exercise their first amendment rights. Ohio University police officers were present throughout the incident to protect everyone’s rights and safety; other than keeping streets and other public rights of way clear, no police officers asked anyone to leave at any point in time.

Contrary to allegations circulating on social media, the incident did not rise to the level of a riot. There was strong language, and allegations that some unknown person(s) in the crowd splashed water, but there were no reported injuries or violence, and no one was arrested during the event. ​It should be noted that the police department received no prior notice of the activist’s plans. Although such notice is not required, the lack of it deprived the department of the ability to plan staffing levels. As a result, the officers on duty had to prioritize their response to the events as they unfolded, rightly putting everyone’s personal safety ahead of all other concerns. ​

Bennett responded to Ohio University, saying, “They threw projectiles and poured hot coffee on us, and there’s video of your officers witnessing @Joelpatrick1776‘s truck being vandalized. But yeah, just “some unknown person in the crowd splashed water.” I can’t wait until @realDonaldTrump takes away your school’s funding.”

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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