The Arizona State University Police Department is recommending charges against the four protesters who followed Democratic Sen. Kyrsten Sinema into a bathroom earlier this month and recorded the incident.
ASU police, Sinema’s office and the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office have all investigated the incident, the AZ Mirror reported. ASU police are now asking county prosecutors to charge four people with misdemeanors, Adam Wolfe, spokesman for ASU Police Department, told the outlet.
He said the four people, whose names have not been released, allegedly committed disorderly conduct and disruption of an educational institution.
“I don’t want to overstep on the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office and release names, because it’s still being processed and if they choose to prosecute I don’t want to interfere with that,” he said.
Immigration activists confronted Sinema outside a classroom on Oct. 3 on the campus and subsequently followed her into a bathroom over “a pathway to citizenship” for illegal immigrants. They recorded the incident, and Sinema slammed their actions in a press release the next day.
“It is unacceptable for activist organizations to instruct their members to jeopardize themselves by engaging in unlawful activities such as gaining entry to closed university buildings, disrupting learning environments, and filming students in a restroom,” Sinema said in the press release.
“In the 19 years I have been teaching at ASU, I have been committed to creating a safe and intellectually challenging environment for my students,” the senator continued. “Yesterday, that environment was breached. My students were unfairly and unlawfully victimized. This is wholly inappropriate.”
One of the immigration activists who confronted Sinema, Dr. Sophia Marjanovic, defended her actions in a Facebook post earlier this month, accusing critics of being the “tone police.”
U.S. Sen. Kirsten Sinema, D-Ariz., heads back to a bipartisan meeting on infrastructure in the basement of the U.S. Capitol after the original talks fell through with the White House on June 8, 2021 in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Samuel Corum/Getty Images) (Samuel Corum/Getty Images)
“None of you have a right to tone police my desperate demands for labor protections after what I have endured as a human trafficking survivor due to the f—ed up gig economy,” Marjanovic wrote in her Facebook post.
“For now, connect with the fact that you are on stolen Indigenous land and Indigenous women and children go missing and murdered because we don’t have access to stable jobs, stable housing, clean water, clean food, or stable decent healthcare despite the fact that Indigenous people have upheld our end of the treaty in assimilating and getting educated,” she continued.
The incident came amid liberal outrage that Sinema and Sen. Joe Manchin, both moderate Democrats, reiterated they would not support the price tag on the $3.5 trillion spending package put forth by their party.
Manchin was also confronted by protesters around the same time as Sinema by a group of kayakers while he was on his houseboat.
Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., a centrist Democrat vital to the fate of President Joe Biden’s $3.5 trillion domestic agenda, is surrounded by reporters outside the Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Sept. 29, 2021. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite) (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
President Biden, when was asked about the incidents, responded, “I don’t think they’re appropriate tactics, but it happens to everybody.”
“The only people it doesn’t happen to are the people who have Secret Service standing around them,” Biden said.
He added: “So, it’s part of the process.”