Border Crisis

Democrat Judge Dismissed Charges Against Arizona State Pro-Hamas Protesters

CHANDLER, Arizona — In a packed courtroom on Tuesday, a judge dismissed charges filed against 71 protesters arrested in late April at the Arizona State University Campus. The judge dismissed the cases without prejudice at the University Lakes Justice Court in Chandler, Arizona.

The ruling by Democrat Justice of the Peace Tyler Kissell means the protesters are free to go but may face future prosecution if authorities file charges within the next year. According to a court spokesperson, the pro-Hamas protesters all faced trespassing charges.

Pro-Hamas Rally Outside Arizona Court (Randy Clark/Breitbart Texas)

Breitbart Texas attended the hearing and observed supporters gathering outside the courthouse to rally on behalf of the accused. The rally, organized by Mass Liberation Arizona, was attended by approximately 100 people who staged outside the courthouse. The group’s stated goal is to decarcerate Arizona by abolishing police and prisons. The group actively supports Hamas as stated in a recent press release: In solidarity with Palestine, we reject the blatantly racist, Islamophobic narrative that claims Hamas is a terrorist organization. We do not condemn Gazan resistance.”

Ironically, the group is associated with the Oakland, California-based Mass Liberation Project, which receives its funding from the Tides Foundation through donors that include Jewish billionaires Liz Simons and Mark Heising of the Heising-Simons Foundation. According to Jewish Business News, Simmons and Heising are signatories to the Bill Gates-Warren Buffet “Giving Pledge” which encourages the world’s wealthy to give up their wealth for social benefit. The Mass Liberation Fund also receives significant funding from George Soros, according to a recent news report.

Pro-Hamas Rally Outside Arizona Court (Randy Clark/Breitbart Texas)

Pro-Hamas Rally Outside Arizona Court (Randy Clark/Breitbart Texas)

The defendants in Tuesday’s court hearing, like many arrested on college campuses across the United States in recent months, are alleged to have set up an encampment on the Arizona State University (ASU) campus before their arrests. ASU issued a statement addressing the arrests shortly afterward. The statement addresses 72 arrests however, according to a court spokesman, one arrest made at the time was related to a crime not associated with the Pro-Hamas protests on campus in late April.

ASU Police arrested 72 people for trespassing after they set up an unauthorized encampment Friday, in violation of university policy. Encampments are prohibited on Arizona State University property. Lawful demonstrations can take place except overnight between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m.

A group of people – most of whom were not ASU students, faculty or staff – created an encampment and demonstration that continued until well past 11 p.m. when the group was instructed repeatedly to disperse. Individuals who refused to leave after numerous warnings were arrested and charged with criminal trespass. Of the 72 arrested throughout the day Friday, 15 were ASU students; about 80 percent of those arrested were not students.

While the university will continue to be an environment that embraces freedom of speech, ASU’s first priority is to create a safe and secure environment that supports teaching and learning.

Only 20 of the 71 defendants were ASU students who were suspended by the university after their arrests. Those students filed a lawsuit, hoping to have their suspension reversed. On May 3, Federal Judge John Tuchi denied the students’ request for a temporary injunction to the suspensions, meaning the action taken by the University would stand. The suspension for the students means that some will not graduate as planned, and others will not be able to enroll in summer or fall classes at the University.

Randy Clark is a 32-year veteran of the United States Border Patrol.  Prior to his retirement, he served as the Division Chief for Law Enforcement Operations, directing operations for nine Border Patrol Stations within the Del Rio, Texas, Sector. Follow him on Twitter @RandyClarkBBTX.

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