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Wednesday, May 22, 2024
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No charges filed in connection with fallout surrounding Allen West speech

University Police to keep case open despite lack of legal action

UPD has not filed any charges in connection with the events following Allen West's speech in April.
UPD has not filed any charges in connection with the events following Allen West's speech in April.

University Police have not filed any criminal charges related to the events surrounding conservative commentator Allen West’s on-campus speech, Deputy Chief of Police Josh Sticht told The Spectrum in an email last month. 

Sticht spoke of the investigation in the past tense but said the case remains open. 

“The investigators analyzed all the information collected to determine whether actions taken by any individual that night would constitute a violation of New York State Law, and whether charges could be filed in court,” Sticht said. “At this time, we do not have sufficient information or evidence to identify and charge any specific individual with a crime.”

The UB chapter for Young Americans for Freedom (YAF), a conservative student group recognized by the Student Association, invited West, a former U.S. congressman and conservative pundit, to deliver a speech titled “America is not Racist — Why American Values are Exceptional” in early April. West’s appearance prompted on-campus protests before and during the speech involving dozens of students chanting “Black lives matter.” 

UPD opened its investigation after anonymous posts threatening student protestors  with “target practice” were made on Yik Yak and allegations were made by then-YAF chapter president Therese Purcell, who alleged that protestors “physically assaulted” another YAF e-board member and chased her into a bathroom in an interview with The National Desk. 

No formal reports of assault were filed, though campus police received three reports of harassment, a university spokesperson said two weeks after the event.

Since the investigation began in April, shortly after West’s speech, University Police have “conducted interviews, collected statements, reviewed campus security video footage and social media posts” and reviewed the evidence they collected with the Erie County District Attorney’s Office, Sticht said. 

UB conducted its own “[internal] review of events and activities” parallel to UPD’s investigation. 

This is a developing story. Check back for further updates. 

Grant Ashley is the managing editor and can be reached at


Grant Ashley is the editor in chief of The Spectrum. He's also reported for NPR, WBFO, WIVB and The Buffalo News. He enjoys taking long bike rides, baking with his parents’ ingredients and recreating Bob Ross paintings in crayon. He can be found on the platform formerly known as Twitter at @Grantrashley. 



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