Video shows US professor ‘assaulted’ by Turning Point members over Drag Queen Story Hour links

A split image of two men talking to each other, with the right hand image showing a man being forcibly pushed to the ground by two other men.

A queer university professor was left bloodied and beaten after an alleged assault by two members of a hard-line right-wing group.

Arizona State University (ASU) English lecturer David Boyles was approached on campus in broad daylight by two members of Turning Point USA on Wednesday (11 October). The pair allegedly harassed him as he walked by.

Turning Point USA claim their members were acting in “self defence”.

Turning Point member Kalen D’Almeida is allegedly seen, with a cameraman, confronting Boyles, who co-founded Drag Story Hour Arizona, asking him offensive questions about being “attracted to minors”.

The video cuts off shortly after he is quizzed about sodomy, but campus CCTV caught what happened next.

Footage obtained following a police report, is said to show both D’Almeida and the cameraman appearing to push Boyles to the ground, causing him to hit his face on the pavement.

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In a statement on Facebook, Boyles wrote that his injuries were “relatively minor,” but that he felt anger and despair that such harassment is being normalised in the US.

“Whether it is bomb threats against children’s hospitals and libraries, a store owner being killed for her Pride flag, or the now-standard rhetoric that anyone who supports LGBTQ+ youth is a groomer, it has to stop,” he said.

A spokesperson for a local police precinct told NBC News that the confrontation is being treated as a “potentially biased or prejudicially motivated incident”.

ASU president Michael Crow condemned the altercation in statement published on the university’s website.

“It is astounding to me that individuals from Turning Point USA would wait for an ASU instructor to come out of his class, to follow him, harass him, and ultimately shove him to the ground, bloodying his face,” Crow wrote.

He added that, while Turning Point USA had featured in public events at the university, ASU officials are doing “all we can” to end what it describes as “bullying and intimidation of our faculty members”.

The right-wing organisation, founded in 2012 by radio talk show host Charlie Kirk and businessman Bill Montgomery, is known for using university campuses as a way to push hard-line conservative and anti-LGBTQ+ rhetoric.

In 2016, it launched a professor watch list that details university staff members, most of whom are either pro-LGBTQ+ or left-leaning.

Crow wrote to Turning Point USA earlier this year asking for the removal of ASU professors’ names from the list, but has not received a response.

“The incident we’ve all now witnessed on the video shows Turning Point’s refusal to stop dangerous practices that result in both physical and mental harm to ASU faculty members,” he said.

“As my April letter to Turning Point USA indicated, the professor watch list has resulted in antisemitic, anti-LGBTQ+ and misogynistic attacks on ASU faculty with whom Turning Point USA and its followers disagree.

“Such tactics are anti-democratic, anti-free-speech and completely contrary to the spirit of the university scholarship, teaching and community.”

In a statement given to PinkNews, Turning Point USA has blamed Boyles for turning the interaction “violent”.

It says Boyles “lunged and hit” its cameraman, and claim they offered the professor “assistance” before leaving.

Mr. Boyles and President Crow are shamefully attempting to use Mr. Boyles’s sexual orientation to play victim and skip over the fact that he was the one who attacked our crew. Self-defence is not hate,” a spokesperson for the group says.