Special Reports

Turning Point USA Employees Guilty: Arizona State Instructor Attacked and Harassed on Campus


Two employees of Turning Point USA, a conservative group, have admitted to charges stemming from an incident in October 2023, in which they followed and harassed an Arizona State University (ASU) instructor on campus.

The incident, which was captured on video and posted online by Turning Point USA, has raised concerns about the group's tactics and the safety of LGBTQ+ individuals on campus.

 Turning Point USA Workers Admit Guilt in Harassing and Assaulting ASU Instructor

(Photo : WIKIMEDIA COMMONS / Alan Stark)

The Incident and Its Aftermath

The video, posted by Turning Point USA, shows Braden Ellis filming David Boyles, a writing instructor at ASU, as he walked on campus. Kalen D'Almeida, the other employee involved, can be heard accusing Boyles of being attracted to minors and making derogatory remarks about his sexuality. Boyles remained silent throughout the encounter.
As Boyles attempted to reach for the camera, D'Almeida pushed him to the ground, causing him to fall face first onto the concrete. The video ends abruptly, but campus security footage reveals the full extent of the incident. D'Almeida was charged with misdemeanor assault, harassment, and disorderly conduct, while Ellis was charged with misdemeanor harassment.

Both men signed deferred prosecution program agreements, admitting guilt to the charges. Andrew Kolvet, a spokesman for Turning Point USA, defended the employees' actions, claiming that Boyles fell because he was wearing high platform shoes and a skirt, and described D'Almeida's actions as a "defensive action."

READ MORE: University Of Maryland Baltimore County Settles Sexual Assault Allegations For $4.1 Million 

Response from ASU and Law Enforcement

ASU responded to the incident by emphasizing that harassment or threatening behavior toward its employees would not be tolerated. An ASU spokesperson expressed satisfaction with the admission of guilt by the Turning Point USA employees, stating that the university would continue to protect the rights of all its members, including those in the LGBTQ+ community.

Rachel Mitchell, the Maricopa County Attorney, also weighed in on the incident, stating that diversion programs, like the one the defendants entered, demand more of defendants and should not be seen as a lesser penalty. She reiterated her commitment to protecting the rights of all individuals in Maricopa County, including members of the LGBTQ+ community.

Implications and Reactions

The incident involving the Turning Point USA employees has sparked outrage and concern among many in the ASU community and beyond. Some have criticized the tactics employed by Turning Point USA, arguing that they amount to harassment and intimidation. Others have raised questions about the safety of LGBTQ+ individuals on campus and the need for greater awareness and understanding.

In response to the incident, ASU has stated that it is committed to fostering a safe and inclusive environment for all its members. The university has encouraged anyone who feels threatened or harassed to report the incident to campus authorities.

Turning Point USA has stood by its employees, stating that it believes they did nothing wrong. The organization has paid for their legal fees and maintains that the incident was a result of Boyles' actions, rather than those of its employees.

The incident involving the Turning Point USA employees and the ASU instructor has highlighted the ongoing challenges faced by LGBTQ+ individuals on college campuses. It has also raised important questions about the role of conservative groups in shaping campus discourse and the need for greater awareness and understanding of LGBTQ+ issues.

As ASU and law enforcement continue to investigate the incident, it serves as a reminder of the importance of fostering a safe and inclusive environment for all individuals, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity.

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