On April 20, 2018, Liberty Hangout, a right libertarian group at Kent State University, hosted a “change my mind” event on the K on the subject of gun rights. During the event, John Marcinkiewicz, a freshman political science major at Kent State, approached the group and assaulted their cameraman, Nathan Murphy.
According to Liberty Hangout, Marcinkiewicz approached the group around 3:15 p.m. and engaged them in conversation. Marcinkiewicz debated with the group for over thirteen minutes before crumpling up an informational paper he had been handed and striking the camera — a Canon Rebel T6i, priced at roughly $650 — out of Nathan Murphy’s hands.
Afterward, according to another video recorded by Liberty Hangout, the group followed Marcinkiewicz towards the library to confront him about the cost of replacing their equipment. Marcinkiewicz apologized and stated he did not have enough money to refund their equipment.
Officer Shauntya Brown quickly arrived on the scene to assess the situation, after [student Michael] Heil had already collected all of Marcinkiewicz’s information. With numerous eyewitness testimonies and a video to backup his story, the officer told Heil that he could either press charges against Marcinkiewicz or handle it through Kent State’s Student Code of Conduct. Heil told the officer he didn’t have the time or money to drag this through court, and he needed his camera replaced ASAP since he is a film student. The officer recommended going through Code of Conduct, and that the University will more than likely make Marcinkiewicz pay Heil for a new camera, or have the cost of a replacement added to his tuition. Heil, Murphy, and [Kent State Liberty Hangout member Mikey] Diederich had to file police reports later that evening, detailing everything that occurred.
The Kent Conservative reached out to Kaitlin Bennett, president of the Liberty Hangout club at Kent State, for her comments on the assault.
“Gun control advocates preach about non-violence,” Bennett commented, “but it is far too common to see them either making threats verbally, or actually physically harming someone and their property. What will Kent State come to when dialogue can’t happen on campus because people are being assaulted?”
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