California mayors are dueling on social media over the police response to UC Irvine

Two California mayors clashed on social media after law enforcement officers were called to confront anti-Israel agitators on the campus of the University of California, Irvine.

While responding to a public service announcement from UC Irvine to students at

“It is a shame that peaceful protests against freedom of expression are always met with violence,” Khan wrote. “Taking up space on campus or in a building is not a threat to anyone.”

“UCI leadership must do everything it can to prevent a violent scenario from developing here. These are your students without guns,” she added.

POLICE ON UC IRVINE CAMPUS AFTER ANTI-ISRAEL AGITATORS SWARM BUILDINGS; STUDENTS TOLD TO 'LEAVE AREA'

Irvine Mayor Farrah Khan has apparently condemned law enforcement for responding to the University of California, Irvine campus – at the university's request – when anti-Israel protesters took over a building. (Leonard Ortiz/MediaNews Group/Orange County Register via Getty Images)

Following the Irvine mayor's comments about law enforcement, the former Newport Beach mayor denounced Khan's “careless wording” and said she was “preventatively accusing officers” of violence.

“Newport Beach Police officers are currently in Irvine assisting in response to a mutual aid call. Your careless wording makes it appear that you are preemptively accusing our officers, and officers from the many law enforcement agencies that responded, of violence.” O'Neill replied.

O'Neill called on the current mayor to “clarify” her message.

COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY STUDENT IN HANDCUFFS RIPS DIPLOMA AT STARTING STAGE IN PROTEST ACT

“If that is what you meant, then your message falls under the office of mayor. If not, please clarify immediately,” he wrote.

Law enforcement and protesters

Law enforcement agencies were called to respond to anti-Israel agitators who took over a building on the campus of the University of California, Irvine on Wednesday, May 15. (Fox News)

The dueling comments came after UC Irvine was overrun by anti-Israel agitators on Wednesday afternoon.

In a statement to Fox News Digital, a spokesperson for UC Irvine said the campus erupted into chaos after several hundred protesters entered the Physical Sciences Lecture Hall at 2:30 PM PST and began barricading the building.

Anti-Israel protesters outside the University of California, Irvine

Several hundred anti-Israel protesters forced their way into UC Irvine's natural sciences lecture hall on Wednesday and began barricading themselves inside, despite the university demanding they leave the area. (REUTERS/Mike Blake)

The university said it had made an appeal local law enforcement and received immediate assistance from the Irvine Police Department and the Orange County Sheriff's Department.

At least one protester was arrested in livestream footage of the anti-Israel agitators' confrontation with police.

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Authorities said the protesters who entered the campus joined the established encampment that has occupied the campus since April 29 on Wednesday afternoon.

Fox News Digital has reached out to Khan and O'Neill for comment.

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