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Police Use Tear Gas on Anti-Israel Protesters at University of South Florida

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Law enforcement officials used tear gas on anti-Israel protesters after giving them a several-minute warning to leave the campus of the University of South Florida (USF).

Video footage posted to X shows law enforcement officials standing in a line on one side of the university lawn, while a crowd of anti-Israel protesters is informed they have “five minutes to disperse” or they will be tear-gassed.

Several of the protesters could be seen using umbrellas or their signs to work against the tear gas, only to end up leaving the lawn.

USF issued a statement revealing that roughly 75 to 100 anti-Israel protesters had arrived on campus in the morning and that, throughout the course of the day, “police observed” some of the protesters “in person and through social media expressing” that they would use various items with them as weapons, according to WTSP News.

“As the day progressed, police observed participants in person and through social media expressing their intent to use some of the items they brought on campus as weapons and to resist university staff members and law enforcement officers,” the statement from the university said. “As a result, USF police determined that the protest was no longer peaceful, and participants must leave the area.”

Police reportedly informed protesters around 4:50 p.m. that they had 15 minutes to leave the campus before the officers would deploy the use of tear gas and rubber bullets, according to the outlet.

The American Academy of Ophthalmology describes rubber bullets as being a “kinetic impact projectile.”

Rubber bullets, a type of kinetic impact projectile (KIP), come in a variety of styles. Some are single projectiles; others are fired as a group of pellets. While KIPs may be nonlethal, they can cause harm, including significant harm to the eye.

 Around 5:10 p.m., protesters were once again told to disperse because the protest had been labeled an “unlawful assembly.”

Law enforcement officials then proceeded to use tear gas on the protesters roughly 10 minutes later, after providing protesters with several warnings.

Several other universities in Florida have also derided the anti-Israel encampments and protests that have swept across the nation.

University of Florida spokesman Steve Orlando issued a statement saying that “The University of Florida is not a daycare, and we do not treat protesters like children.”
Since an initial anti-Israel encampment was started at Columbia University on April 17, several others have been established at Harvard University, Princeton University, George Washington University, and New York University, among others.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) has slammed the anti-Israel protesters, vowing to expel university students if they try to pull the same type of behavior and stunts as the ones seen at Columbia University and Yale University.

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