Dinkla is also facing two charges for robbery by sudden snatching and resisting an officer with violence. University of Florida Police documentation states that he “knowingly and willfully resisted, by doing violence to Det. Tarafa, by forcefully pushing him away, and then pulling away once Det. Tarafa placed his hands on Dinkla.”
Created Equal’s president Mark Harrington told CNA that harassment, vandalism, and theft against their pro-life efforts is “commonplace.”
“As you can imagine, going to a college campus and presenting a pro-life message is generally not very welcomed on a campus,” Harrington said. “Doing it the way we do, which is to show the victims of abortion, often brings even a higher level of opposition.”
“We face this kind of opposition everywhere we go. We will never back down or cower to these types of tactics by abortion advocates. It only emboldens us to continue on with the mission,” Harrington said. “There are a large number of students who are interested in discussing with us about abortion and that’s why we’re there.”
In a March 10 statement on Facebook, Harrington said: “It is no surprise that those who advocate for the killing of preborn humans resort to violence towards those with whom they disagree … We are grateful no staff members were injured in this incident. We also appreciate the efforts of the university and its law enforcement officers to protect the peaceful exercise of our First Amendment rights.”
The University of Florida confirmed with CNA that both Taylor and Dinkla are enrolled as students and that the school is currently conducting a disciplinary review.
Though the school could not disclose what type of disciplinary action the students could be facing, university spokesman Steve Orlando told CNA that “the University of Florida will be absolutely clear about these two things: Speech is protected, and violence is not tolerated.”
“Everyone — regardless of their views — can exercise their First Amendment rights on this campus, and nobody has a right to violence,” Orlando said. “Violent behavior and resisting arrest are unacceptable.”
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.
The group tweeted:
“!!NEED SOLIDARITY AND HELP!! 2 friends, GAs were arrested today while protesting in Turlington Plaza for women’s rights. Court support needed, Bail Money needed” and “Please share, show up, and help in any way. We will not be intimidated.”
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Both Taylor and Dinkla have since been released, with Taylor being released on the condition she cannot return to the University of Florida campus during her trial, according to local news outlet WCJB.
WCJB reported that a crowd of nearly 100 protesters showed up at the county courthouse to demonstrate their support for Taylor and Dinkla.
This comes as pro-life groups and churches across the U.S. face a spate of vandalism and harassment since the overturning of Roe v. Wade.
CNA has tracked and mapped more than 100 incidents of pro-abortion vandalism across the U.S., including at least 56 at pregnancy centers and 33 at churches of various denominations.
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.
On Jan. 11, a resolution by Rep. Mike Johnson, R-Louisiana, condemning the attacks against pro-lifers and calling for the administration to act in their defense passed the House in a 222-209 vote.