A pro-Palestinian protester, identified as 50-year-old California college professor Loay Abdelfattah Alnaji, was arrested in the death of Jewish man Paul Kessler at concurrent pro-Israel and pro-Palestinian demonstrations on November 5.
Driving the news: Alnaji has been charged with involuntary manslaughter and jailed on $1 million bail per a Ventura County Sheriffs Department press release.
- An autopsy carried out by Ventura County Medical Examiner Christopher Young showed minor abrasions to the left side of Kessler’s mouth in addition to the brain swelling and bruising that killed him.
- The incident took place outside an upscale mall in Thousand Oaks, about 40 miles west of downtown Los Angeles.
What they’re saying: Witnesses at the scene said that Alnaji tried to bait Kessler before their altercation and was using a megaphone to shout directly into the faces of pro-Israel protesters.
- Alnaji has taught college students since 2003 and holds bachelors and masters degrees in computer science and a doctorate in business administration.
- Jonathan Oswaks, a friend and fellow protester of Kessler’s, said of Alnaji’s behavior, “I don’t know how many times I told him to take that out of my ear. And I wasn’t polite about it. He tried to bait me and I didn’t take the bait. Then he walked across the street and tried to bait Paul”.
- Alnaji is a full-time professor teaching computer science at Ventura County Community College’s Moorpark campus.