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Thursday, April 25, 2024

University Police Department detains 2 UF student abortion rights protestors

Both will appear in court Saturday

<p>Two UF students are arrested by University Police Department officers in Turlington Plaza Friday, March 10, 2023.</p>

Two UF students are arrested by University Police Department officers in Turlington Plaza Friday, March 10, 2023.

Two UF students, including the co-president of Graduate Assistants United, were arrested by the University Police Department at an abortion rights protest in Turlington Plaza Friday afternoon. 

Bryn Taylor, of GAU, was arrested under two felony charges — aggravated battery on a law enforcement officer, identified as Detective J. Tarafa, and resisting an officer with violence, according to the arrest report. She was also charged with resisting an officer without violence, a misdemeanor. 

Ian Dinkla, 21, was charged with robbery by sudden snatching and resisting an officer with violence, according to the arrest report — both felony charges. 

The news comes after four students were arrested Monday at the University of South Florida while protesting state efforts to defund diversity initiatives at Florida universities.

“Everyone — regardless of their views — can exercise their First Amendment rights on this campus, and nobody has a right to violence,” UF spokesperson Steve Orlando wrote in a statement. “Violent behavior and resisting arrest are unacceptable.”

Orlando said UF will move forward with a conduct and disciplinary review process.

GAU co-president Rachel Hartnett declined to comment in time for publication. 

Roughly 20 students gathered in Turlington for a UF Rally for Bodily Autonomy organized by the university’s Young Democratic Socialists chapter. The rally coincided with the presence of Created Equal, a traveling anti-abortion group that’s been tabling on campus since Monday. The group set up several 4-foot-tall signs depicting images of unborn fetuses.

Dinkla took a sign from Created Equal valued at about $120, according to the police report. 

Taylor struck an officer in the head with a bullhorn, the police report alleges, leading to the charge of aggravated battery. 

A 23-second video of the incident obtained by The Alligator doesn’t show any swing or intentional strike against the officer, but it does show Taylor shoving an officer while resisting Dinkla’s arrest.

Alex Lopez, a 22-year-old journalism senior, said he saw officers push Taylor and her glasses break. 

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“I saw her basically get manhandled with the police,” he said. “It definitely, to me, looked like the police were the aggressors in the situation. They were basically knocking her to the ground.”

Lopez said he saw Taylor drop her bullhorn immediately, however the video shows Taylor holding it by the time she’s on the ground.

Taylor and Dinkla’s first appearances in court are Saturday morning. As of 6:06 p.m. Friday, there’s no bond set. 

Contact Lauren Brensel at Follow her on Twitter @LaurenBrensel.

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Lauren Brensel

Lauren Brensel is a journalism sophomore and a metro reporter for The Alligator. In her free time, she's found going on mental health walks, being silly with friends, hiding from the public and reminding those around her that they did this song on Glee.

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