AZ professors rally to cause of student demonstrators who disrupted CPB event on campus

More than 70 professors at the University of Arizona have penned a letter to campus police asking them to drop charges against two students who disrupted an event by the Customs and Border Protection agency.

CPB agents were speaking to the Criminal Justice Association student group on March 19, when the two students stood outside the room where the event was being held and screamed "Murder Patrol" and "an extension of the KKK," according to a video of the incident reviewed by the local news outlet.

The university president said the incident "was a dramatic departure from our expectations of respectful behavior and support for free speech on this campus."  Police then charged the two with a misdemeanor.

But the professors who are supporting the students see things a little differently.

The Hill:

"We ask that you, in your role as President, end the investigations and harassment of the students by demanding that UAPD Chief, Brian Seastone, drop the charges against them," faculty members wrote in the letter dated Wednesday.  "We also implore you to ask the the Dean of Students to support rather than investigate the two students."

Imagine if those had been conservative students protesting outside a social justice event.  Would the professors be so forthright in asking the university to stop the "harassment" of the students and "support rather than investigate" them?

The professors, part of a group called Professors of Color, said Mexican American Studies faculty, staff and students have received death threats since the protest went viral.

"Rather than its current emphasis on investigating and criminalizing free speech, the UAPD and administration's highest priority should be an immediate UA response to the death threats and the impact that the Border Patrol on campus has on many of our students, staff, and employees," they wrote. 

The police investigated the "death threats":

A spokesman for the university told the Arizona Republic that the institution received information Tuesday from the Mexican American Studies faculty about a threat, which was then shared with UA police.

UA police and other law enforcement agencies "evaluated the message and the source of the message and determined there was not a threat to campus or to public safety," the spokesman said.

Another hoax hate crime?  More than possible.

The CPB agents have a job to do.  They don't make policy; they only enforce the law.  Calling them the "murder patrol" is silly and immature, as was the effort to disrupt the speakers.  That the professors want the school administration to support the students in their efforts to stifle free speech shows them to be silly and immature as well.

A misdemeanor offense sounds about right.  The school should resist the pressure from these "Professors of Color" and enforce their own standards of behavior.