JW Calls on Public University to Stop Protecting Student who Harassed, Stalked BP Agents on Campus for Career Day—“Murder Patrol”
The highly-compensated president of a large public university is defending a combative Latino student who disrupted class and yelled “Murder Patrol” and profanities at Border Patrol agents invited to his campus for a career day event. The incident occurred this month at the University of Arizona (UA) in Tucson, a taxpayer-funded institution with an enrollment of about 35,000. UA’s president, Robert C. Robbins, earns more than any other university president in state history, a whopping $988,000 a year. In a statement addressing the ruckus ignited by federal agents on the campus, Robbins assured that “the university will always protect students’ confidential information, including their immigration status.” Robbins goes on to write that “all members of our campus community should be able to engage with a variety of viewpoints and positions and express themselves as well.” The president further states “that requires we respect others’ right to speech and that they respect ours.”
But some students clearly violated the public university’s code of conduct, which outlines expectations of behavior for all students. In videos widely circulated online a UA student named Denisse Mureno-Melchor, a Mexican-American studies major, disrupts a classroom presentation by two federal agents invited by the school’s Criminal Justice Association. The college group has also hosted officers from other federal law enforcement agencies, including Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Forearms and Explosives (ATF). Mureno-Melchor likens the Border Patrol agents to the notorious hate group Ku Klux Klan and targets the agents by repeatedly chanting “Murder Patrol.” In one of the videos the belligerent student follows the agents for nearly a minute as they walk down a hallway and outside the building to the parking garage. She shouts “Murder Patrol” throughout the segment. In another video, recorded on her cell phone, Mureno-Melchor proclaims that there are “murderers on campus” as the camera pans on the two Border Patrol agents. “We have the KKK and their supporters here at the U of A,” she says, referring to fellow students in the classroom. The indignant Latino student also directs profanity in Spanish at the agents who gracefully ignore her.
In a complaint filed with the university, Judicial Watch calls on Robbins to do his job as president by enforcing the Student Code of Conduct. Mureno-Melchor’s behavior appears in conflict with and in violation of Policy 5-308 of UA’s code of conduct, which clearly states the following: “The educational process is ideally conducted in an environment that encourages reasoned discourse, intellectual honesty, openness to constructive change, and respect for the rights of all individuals.” Judicial Watch’s complaint points out that the same policy also defines code of conduct acts demonstrated by Mureno-Melchor. The acts include but are not limited to: endangering, fabrication, stalking, causing reasonable apprehension of harm or engaging in conduct or communications that a reasonable person would interpret as a serious expression of intent to harm, unauthorized presences, engaging in discriminatory activities, including harassment and the commission of any offense prohibited by state or federal law or local ordinance.
Arizona Revised Statute (ARS) 13-2904 addresses the unlawful behavior practiced by Mureno-Melchor. A person commits disorderly conduct if, with the intent to disturb the peace or quiet of a neighborhood, family or person, or with knowledge of doing so, such person engages in: seriously disruptive behavior or makes unreasonable noise or uses abusive or offensive language or gestures to any person present in a manner likely to provoke immediate physical retaliation by such person or makes any protracted commotion, utterance or display with the intent to prevent the transaction of the business of lawful meeting, gathering or procession. Mureno-Melchor clearly meets the criteria.
In the complaint Judicial Watch also includes the Associated Students of the University of Arizona (ASUA), the school’s student leadership organization, for supporting criminal conduct. The group is furious over the federal agents’ recent career day invitation, writing in a letter that the presence of uniformed Border Patrol agents on campus “will always be immensely harmful” to “our undocumented community.” The student leaders write that they have an obligation and responsibility to protect, support and speak out for all students, including those in the country illegally. “Simply put, unannounced visits by the U.S. Border Patrol are unacceptable,” the group states, adding that illegal alien students must be notified “in advance” of campus visits by Border Patrol. The letter is signed by the ASUA student body president, executive vice president and administrative vice president. Judicial Watch’s complaint points out that the ASUA support of those engaged in criminal conduct is alarming.