NYC mayor blames outside agitators for Columbia building takeover

Anti-Israel protesters gather near a main gate at Columbia University in New York, April 30, 2024, just before New York City police officers cleared the area after a building was taken over by protesters (Craig Ruttle/AP)
Anti-Israel protesters gather near a main gate at Columbia University in New York, April 30, 2024, just before New York City police officers cleared the area after a building was taken over by protesters (Craig Ruttle/AP)

New York City Mayor Eric Adams says on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” that police had to move in to Columbia University’s Hamilton Hall “for the safety of those children.”

He blames outside agitators for the building takeover.

“There are people who are harmful and they’re trying to radicalize our children and we cannot ignore this,” Adams says.

The NYPD’s deputy commissioner for public information, Tarik Sheppard, who appeared with the mayor, held up a heavy chain.

“This is not what students bring to school,” Sheppard said. “This is what we encountered on every door inside Hamilton Hall.”

Sheppard said 40 to 50 people were arrested at Hamilton Hall with no injuries. Adams said they will face charges including burglary, trespassing and criminal mischief, while those who were arrested outside the building will be face less serious charges.

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