State Police detain 3 during protest on UNM campus

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Charlie Kirk is the founder of Turning Point USA, a conservative nonprofit group that proclaims to promote freedom and limited government. He was invited to speak at UNM by the Turning Point student organization on campus, but other students with different viewpoints wanted to make their voices heard.

Kirk waved to the dozens of protestors that had gathered at UNM.

Campus police enlisted the help of New Mexico State Police in riot gear to detain three people, including one UNM student. All were issued a criminal summons for interfering with officials or the general public. That is a petty misdemeanor that could mean a $500 fine and/or less than 6 months in jail. 

“Yesterday evening they were engaged in response to the actions of individuals failing to disperse from the event entrance ramp when they were requested to do that,” said Cinnamon Blair, UNM spokesperson.

University officials said there was no property damage, and Kirk’s speech and the protestors’ free speech were successful.

Although some students said Kirk should have stayed off campus.

“I’m proud of who I am, but Charlie Kirk is proud to be white! You know? There’s no proudness in white subjectivity,” said Leandro Pita, a UNM student.

Blair said UNM is committed to the principles of free speech.

“We value our role as a public square for debate and a marketplace of ideas. This is a place to test and challenge competing viewpoints and opinions,” Blair said.

KOB 4 reached out to the Turning Point USA student organization at UNM to hear from them, but they didn’t get back to us before deadline. For more on the history of Turning Point USA, click here.