- The Washington Times - Friday, April 12, 2019

A student at the University of Missouri-Kansas City is facing charges after he allegedly attacked conservative columnist Michael Knowles during a speaking event Thursday.

Gerard G. Dabu is charged with assault and resisting arrest after he allegedly threw an unknown liquid at Mr. Knowles while he gave a speech titled, “Men Are Not Women,” at an event hosted by Young Americans for Freedom, a local CBS affiliate reported.

Chancellor Mauli Agrawal released a statement Friday saying tests revealed the substance was “lavender oil and some other non-toxic household liquids.”

Protesters at the event held signs that read, “Trans rights are human rights” and “Trans men are men,” and Mr. Knowles‘ speech was repeatedly interrupted, the student newspaper reported. Videos taken at the event showed authorities wrestling with a protester on the ground and using a Taser while others chanted, “Hands up, don’t shoot.”

“I believe that gentleman just threw paint on me,” Mr. Knowles is overheard in one video.

Mr. Agrawal said in his statement that while Mr. Knowles‘ political views do not align with the university’s “commitment to diversity and inclusion,” the school still has a duty to protect speakers’ First Amendment rights.

UMKC must maintain a safe environment in which all points of view, even extreme ones, are allowed to be heard,” he wrote, adding that a campus disciplinary investigation into Mr. Dabu is underway.

Mr. Knowles was incensed by the university’s response.

UMKC Chancellor C. Mauli Agrawal is a disgrace to higher education,” the columnist tweeted Friday, linking to the chancellor’s statement. “This is his response to an invited speaker being shouted down and physically assaulted.”

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