Tuesday, April 7

Graduate student under scrutiny after attacking man in Charlottesville rally

A UCLA aerospace engineering doctoral student who took part in last summer’s Charlottesville riots is under an ongoing investigation by the university. (Daily Bruin file photo)

A UCLA graduate student who took part in last summer’s Charlottesville riots is under an ongoing investigation by the university after being identified in early July.

ProPublica and Frontline found a video of Michael Miselis, an aerospace engineering doctoral student, beating an unidentified African-American man at the Charlottesville “Unite the Right” rally in August 2017.

ProPublica and Frontline also confirmed Miselis is part of the Rise Above Movement, a Southern California white supremacy group that also participated in violent rallies in Berkeley.

Dean Jayathi Murthy of the UCLA Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science said in a statement that she rejects all acts of hatred, racism, anti-Semitism and intolerance. She added that while the school will honor the right to free speech, it will not condone violence against others in any form as an expression of those rights.

Murthy added that the allegations that have come to light regarding Miselis are being reviewed by the university.

Miselis has not registered for the fall 2018 term, according to the engineering school. Student privacy laws prevent the school and the university from providing any additional comment.

UCLA said in a statement that Miselis did not enroll as a student for the last quarter, spring 2018.

Miselis was also employed by Northrop Grumman, an engineering firm contracted by the Department of Defense. In order to work there, Miselis had to have a U.S. government security clearance, according to ProPublica and Frontline. Northrop Grumman announced in early July that Miselis is no longer employed with the company.

“We do not tolerate hatred or illegal conduct and we condemn racist activities in any shape or form,” read the firm’s media statement.

Miselis did not immediately respond to request for comment.

Senior Staff

Sekar is a senior staff reporter for the national news and higher education beat. She was previously the 2018-2019 assistant news editor for the national and higher education beat and a news contributor before that. Sekar is a third-year political science and economics student and enjoys dogs, dancing, and dessert.


Comments are supposed to create a forum for thoughtful, respectful community discussion. Please be nice. View our full comments policy here.