Conservative activist claims she was assaulted at Cedar Rapids Democrat event

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) -- Conservative activist Kaitlin Bennett claims she was attacked Sunday at a Pete Buttigieg event in downtown Cedar Rapids.

Bennett made headlines last year after she was photographed carrying a military-style gun and a graduation cap on the campus of Kent State University.

On Bennett's Facebook page, "Kait's Unsafe Space", a message with an attached video says she was attacked "for simply being conservative."

The video, that has been shared thousands of times, shows two men approaching Bennett and her film crew while giving them the middle finger. Bennett can then be heard asking, "do you usually treat women like that?"

What follows, one of the men can be seen making physical contact with a camera, another man stranding nearby, and Bennett. The video posted online appears to have been edited.

Cedar Rapids police tell TV9 the two individuals in question are believed to be from Illinois and that there were three victims in all. Police are not identifying those who are accused of being involved in the assaults.

Authorities originally told TV9 Monday morning there were no plans to file charges and that the case was closed at the request of the victims, "because they are from Ohio and there would be challenges having them testify in court." They now say the case has been reopened and that they are planning to seek warrants for the arrest of those involved.

On behalf of Bennett, the Liberty Hangout staff sent TV9 the following statement, saying

This statement is untrue, and we are working with the Cedar Rapids police department to figure out why they said this to you. We visited the police station three times yesterday to provide evidence and assist in identifying the suspects. We made it explicitly clear to the officer on duty that we wanted to press charges, even though the suspects live in Illinois. We don't care if we need to fly to Illinois or Iowa to handle the matter, we want justice to be served. Kaitlin and our crew have been assaulted numerous times in the past, and nothing ever gets done, which is why we are so intent on seeing the Cedar Rapids police department follow through with charging the suspects that attacked us in Greene Square Park.

This was a politically motivated attack and it needs to be made clear that violence of any kind is unacceptable. Cedar Rapids will continue to be a major hub for presidential rallies over the course of the next year, and voters of all backgrounds shouldn't have to feel like nothing will be done if they get violently attacked in the city.

Liberty Hangout staff

TV9 reached out to Bennett but has not heard back.

Pete Buttigieg's campaign has declined to comment.