Scheduled gun walk derails into standstill police intervention

An Ohio police officer leads police in riot gear toward the Schwartz Center parking lot on Saturday, Sept. 29, 2018 after an open-carry walk stalled in front of Bowman Hall.  

An organized open-carry walk quickly turned into a chaotic standoff between Olson and Bowman Halls as counterprotestors, gun rights activists and hundreds of police clashed.

Kaitlin Bennett, a Kent State alumna, and many Second Amendment supporters met up in the Schwartz Center parking lot Saturday afternoon around 1:30 p.m. with a plan to walk and discuss open carry on college campuses.

On Risman Plaza, counterprotestors gathered together to protest their opposition for the open-carry event.

As gun rights activists began to walk, they were confronted with counterprotestors consisting of Antifa, the Cleveland chapter of Black Lives Matter and students.

The standoff occurred for nearly one hour before the marchers moved back to the parking lot, surrounded by police in riot gear.

Kent State held a press conference later in the day and announced four people were arrested and charged with disorderly conduct. One was also charged with assaulting a police officer. One of the arrested had a minor head injury.

To the knowledge of the university, none of those arrested were students.

Bennett blamed the university for the results of the walk while addressing a crowd towards the end of the event. “I hope you’re happy, Bev.”

In response to Bennett’s comments, Warren said the university has followed its policy through every step leading up to the event.

Hundreds of police officers from 10 different law enforcement agencies provided security for the event.

The university also said there was no damage to university property.

Stay tuned to KentWired Sunday night and to Monday’s print edition of the Kent Stater for more.

Brandon Bounds is TV2’s enterprise producer and Laina Yost is KentWired’s enterprise editor. Contact them at [email protected] and [email protected]