UCLA reassigns police chief after altercations at anti-Israel protests

He is accused of not having acted forcefully enough to prevent the riots caused by demonstrators on the campus of the University of California, Los Angeles.

The University of California, Los Angeles has reassigned its police chief for failing to intervene effectively to prevent riots between pro-Palestinian and pro-Israeli protesters on the university campus. According to The Los Angeles Times, the events John Thomas is being blamed for occurred on the Los Angeles campus around an anti-Israeli encampment in late April.

According to the university, Thomas was temporarily removed from his position Tuesday while UCLA officials determine to what degree he failed to perform his duty of preventing the two groups of protesters from engaging in a confrontation on the campus.

According to a UCLA spokesman, Thomas has been assigned to another position. This comes just days after the university announced the creation of a new position of responsibility in charge of campus security.

John Thomas' handling of the anti-Israel protesters' encampment was heavily criticized by both activists and those against campus vandalism. Thomas defended his actions and claimed that everything possible was done under the circumstances.

A few days after the April 30 encounter,  UCLA Police, in collaboration with other police forces, carried out the arrest of more than 130 protesters who barricaded themselves in encampments on the campus.