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The Student News Site of San Francisco State University

Golden Gate Xpress

The Student News Site of San Francisco State University

Golden Gate Xpress

SFSU police suspend Riley Gaines investigation

UPD reported no findings of an alleged assault following an April 2023 Turning Point event on campus
Benjamin Fanjoy
Riley Gaines is escorted by police following a Turning Point USA event named “Saving Women’s Sports” at SF State in San Francisco, Calif., on Thursday, April 6, 2023. Swimmer Riley Gaines is the feature speaker at the conservative groups event and known to be critical of transgender participation in women sporting events. Protesters attending the event caused Gaines to spend hours guarded in a room by police before her departure. (Benjamin Fanjoy/ Golden Gate Xpress)

When former collegiate swimmer Riley Gaines came to San Francisco State University to speak at a Turning Point USA event on April 6, 2023, she claimed to be assaulted by a host of protestors. The investigation, filed by Gaines, has now been suspended, according to the University Police Department.

“UPD conducted an investigation and after interviewing involved parties and reviewing available video footage found that claims of crimes committed were unfounded,” wrote UPD in an email.

In a recent interview with Fox Digital, Gaines said she exchanged numerous emails with UPD asking for an update on the investigation. She claims to have met with UPD following the alleged incident to submit an official statement. Gaines also said they “never provided” the security footage for her to review.

“Remember when I was assaulted & held for ransom through the night by a mob of violent protesters at SFSU? The police have finally informed me the case has been suspended as all charges are ‘alleged’ and ‘unfounded’ I guess audio, video, and eyewitness evidence aren’t admissible in SF,” wrote Gaines in an X post on Feb. 21.

Campus police officers escort Riley Gaines into Room 325 after Turning Point USA’s event featuring her as the speaker at SF State on Thursday, April 6, 2023. (Joshua Carter / Golden Gate Xpress) (Joshua Carter)

Golden Gate Xpress reached out to Gaines and SF TPUSA for comment but did not receive a response prior to publication.

Gaines is an activist advocating for the National Collegiate Athletics Association to exclude transgender athletes from participating with cisgender athletes. Gaines was the first speaker TPUSA brought to SFSU to speak at the event, “Saving Women’s Sports with Riley Gaines,” on April 6, 2023 and anticipated a sit-in and was aware of the backlash toward her presence.

“As far as UPD goes, they’re never spoke with me about Riley’s event and as far as I’m aware, none of the other QTRC officers were approached either,” said Jeremy Lark, the former QTRC director.

QTRC held an event, “Queer and Trans Sports Mixer” before the TPUSA event. Many attendees of the mixer attended the sit-in. 

“If there is a sit-in, which I imagine just involves people with different views than myself to come and sit and listen, I would love that. Again, if they are civil and respectful and can allow themselves to hear my side — that’s my mission,” said Gaines during an interview conducted before the event. “It’s very easily through all of this and speaking  out to get labeled as some right-wing grifter, which I have very easily have been labeled as but really it’s important to me to reach the moderates or the left-leaning side who doesn’t agree with this topic in particular.”

The event ended at 8:26 p.m. UPD arrived at the event after protestors entered the room, forcing Gaines to take shelter in HSS building room 325 for approximately three hours. UPD arrived at the scene at 11:36 p.m. to create a barrier to allow Gaines to leave campus at 11:38 p.m.

Golden Gate Xpress reported the event through X, formerly known as Twitter, and is equipped with footage from most of the night with timestamps. After the event, Gaines called for an investigation into the alleged assault.

“The bigger picture of how, what’s happening when we deny what a man is versus what a woman is biologically, how that’s denying objective truth, and again how that’s harmful to females in particular,” Gaines said.

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About the Contributors
Adriana Hernandez
Adriana Hernandez, Editor-In-Chief
Adriana Hernandez (she/her) is the Editor-In-Chief for Golden Gate Xpress. She is majoring in journalism and minoring in media literacy. Adriana has a passion for storytelling, culture, art, and design. She previously wrote for The Skyline View, the student newspaper of Skyline College. In her downtime, she enjoys reading and watching films. For any inquiries, you can contact me at [email protected].  
Benjamin Fanjoy
Benjamin Fanjoy, Staff Photographer
Benjamin Fanjoy is a San Francisco-based photojournalist. Originally from Maryland, Benjamin moved to San Francisco in the summer of 2018 after completing his five-and-one-half year enlistment in the United States Coast Guard. He is currently studying Journalism (concentrating on Photojournalism) with a minor in Political Science at San Francisco State University. Benjamin has photographed social justice movements of historical relevance including Black Lives Matter, Stop Asian Hate, Abolish ICE, the wildfires in Northern California, San Francisco's response to Covid-19, and the immigration surge at the Tijuana-San Ysidro Port of Entry in Mexico. Benjamin has worked with The Associated Press, Bloomberg, The San Francisco Chronicle, The San Francisco Standard, El Tecolote and Golden Gate Xpress.
Joshua Carter
Joshua Carter, Editor-in-Chief
Joshua Carter (he/him) is the editor-in-chief for Golden Gate Xpress. He transferred from CCSF as a creative writing major but quickly switched to photojournalism with a minor in geography once he landed at SF State. Joshua spent six years in the Navy, served as photo and nonfiction editor at Forum literary magazine, interned as an editorial intern at Alternative Press, and is striving to be a groundbreaking filmmaker and multimedia journalist. In his free time he listens to audiobooks, falls into wiki holes for hours, and performs with his punk band.

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