Four protesters wanted for alleged hate crimes against Turkish Consulate members

The LAPD is looking for four suspects who attacked three Turkish Consulate members Sept. 29 after a panel discussion hosted by the University.

The LAPD released photos of the alleged suspects Monday. (Los Angeles Police Department)

The Los Angeles Police Department’s Major Crimes Division is asking the public to help identify four suspects allegedly responsible for committing hate crimes against members of the Turkish Consulate who spoke at USC in September.

In a Monday release, the LAPD wrote that the suspects attacked three Turkish Consulate members Sept. 29 as they were leaving Annenberg Hall after a panel discussion. The suspects allegedly “pushed, punched, kicked” and threw water at the officials, according to the release.

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A group of protesters gathered outside the event, some entering the building, to demonstrate against the University’s decision to host the Turkish officials amid an offensive by Azerbaijan against the majority-Armenian state of Nagorno-Karabakh the same week. Protesters condemned the timing of the event, citing the Turkish state’s denial of the Armenian genocide.

“The ongoing ethnic cleansing of Artsakh Armenians, carried out by Azerbaijan and directly supported by Turkey, is an ongoing and fresh source of pain for the Armenian-American community,” wrote the Armenian Students’ Association in a statement released on Instagram. “USC ASA finds it absolutely unacceptable that USC made the decision to give genocide denial a platform on campus.”

Members of ASA participated in the mostly non-violent demonstration that was open to the public. Some protesters, draped in Armenian flags, chanted outside of the building using loudspeakers, while others chanted from the audience inside the building before Department of Public Safety officers evicted them. A representative of the ASA told the Daily Trojan that none of the four suspects are associated with the organization.

The University declined to comment on the release, citing the LAPD-led investigation that will not involve USC administration or DPS. The LAPD declined to comment on the search.

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