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Charges dropped against UA students who protested Border Patrol

This April 10, 2019, file photo shows supporters of three University of Arizona students who were charged with a misdemeanor for their part in a protest of two Border Patrol agents on the university's Tucson campus. (Tim Stellar/Arizona Daily Star)

PHOENIX — Charges against three University of Arizona students who protested the Border Patrol during an on-campus visit in March were dropped Friday, according to the Pima County Attorney’s Office.

Two of the students were scheduled to appear in court on Monday and the other on Friday for the misdemeanor charges, which included interference with the peaceful conduct of an educational institution and threats and intimidation.

The charges stemmed from two of the students disrupting a presentation by two agents on March 19 with chants of “murder patrol” and following them down the hall.

The third student was charged later that week.

“We respect the decision and will continue to follow our processes and the law,” UA Vice President of Communications Chris Sigurdson said Monday in a statement. “The University is moving forward with the dean of students’ process review of the incident per our policies.”

It’s still possible the students could face discipline from the university for code of conduct offenses since the incident happened on school grounds.

Pima County officials said they were informed by UA that its dean of students will conduct an administrate investigation against the students.

UA President Robert Robbins said following the incident the club had a right to have its presentation uninterrupted.

A coalition of UA professors disagreed, saying the two students who were initially charged were exercising their right to protest, and they have since been getting death threats.

The ACLU of Arizona supported the decision not to press charges.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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