National Politics

3 arrested in Tulane dorm fire that Libertarian group says was politically motivated

Tulane University police booked two men and a woman into New Orleans’ jail late Saturday on allegations that they set a sign on a dorm room door on fire.

Robert Money, 21; David Shelton, 20; and Naima Okami, 20, face counts of aggravated arson, said Blake Arcuri, general counsel of the Orleans Parish Sheriff’s Office, which runs the jail.

According to The Advocate’s media partners at WWL-TV, a student who lived in the dorm room is an officer of the Tulane chapter of Young Americans for Liberty, a libertarian organization with chapters at other universities.

The organization says the fire was set soon after the student, Peyton Lofton, was identified online as a member of the group.

News of the small blaze, which set off a fire alarm but didn’t cause any injuries, ignited a social media firestorm in conservative circles.

Charlie Kirk, the founder of the right-wing activist group Turning Point USA, tweeted that Lofton is the president of Tulane’s Turning Point chapter and called the setting of the blaze “sick and dangerous.”

Kirk was retweeted by Trump Jr., who rhetorically asked his 3.4 million followers whether the media would report on “this horrible crime.”

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