On March 10, 2023, pro-abortion activists Ian Dinkla, 21, and Bryn Taylor, 26, were caught on video stealing pro-life signs and violently resisting arrest at the University of Florida in Gainesville.
The two activists were arrested by officers from the University of Florida Police Department and now face violent felony charges, including “battery of a law enforcement officer” and “resisting an officer with violence.”
The signs stolen were part of a temporary demonstration by the pro-life group Created Equal, which had received permission from the university administration to post their display on campus.
Pro-abortion activists resist arrest and assault officers
Dinkla repeatedly shoved a police officer to resist arrest, while Taylor struck the officer over the head with a bullhorn and punched him in the face, according to the police arrest report. The video, posted by Created Equal, shows Dinkla grabbing a large pro-life sign and walking off with it to put in his car.
Later that day, Dinkla approached another pro-life display and was confronted by a plainclothes law enforcement officer, who identified himself as “Detective Tarafa with the University of Florida Police Department.”
Dinkla became noncompliant and shoved the detective away, while Taylor intervened by striking the detective, jumping on him, and shouting profanities.
Charges and consequences for the activists
Dinkla and Taylor now face multiple charges for violent crimes, including felony charges for battery of a law enforcement officer and resisting an officer with violence.
They will stand trial in Alachua county court in Florida. The University of Florida confirmed that both Taylor and Dinkla are enrolled as students and that the school is currently conducting a disciplinary review.
Graduate Assistants United, a graduate employees’ labor union at the University of Florida of which Taylor is a member, took to Twitter in defense of the arrested students and asked for donations to pay their bail.
Response from pro-life groups and university officials
Pro-life groups and churches across the U.S. have faced a spate of vandalism and harassment since the overturning of Roe v. Wade. Created Equal’s president Mark Harrington told CNA that harassment, vandalism, and theft against their pro-life efforts is “commonplace.”
University spokesman Steve Orlando confirmed that the university will not tolerate violence or disruptive behavior, and that the school is committed to protecting the First Amendment rights of all students.
Members of Congress have criticized the Department of Justice under the Biden administration for largely failing to respond to these crimes against pro-life groups and churches.