Charges Dropped Against UofA Students Who Stalked, Harassed Border Patrol Agents

Congressman Raul Grijalva with old friend Pima County Attorney Barbara LaWall

Pima County Attorney Barbara LaWall’s office has dropped the misdemeanor charges against three students who were involved in harassing and stalking two Border Patrol agents on the University Of Arizona campus, in March. The agents had been invited to campus by the university’s Criminal Justice Association.

Judicial Watch, a conservative government watchdog group, filed a complaint with the University of Arizona days after the attack, in which the group demanded that President Robert Robbins “do his job” by enforcing the student code of conduct.

According to Judicial Watch, the student at the center of the controversy, Denisse Moreno Melchor’s “behavior appears in conflict with and in violation of Policy 5-308,” which is the University’s code of conduct.

The group also argued that Moreno Melchor’s behavior violated Arizona Revised Statute (ARS) 13-2904. That statute addresses disorderly conduct, “the unlawful behavior practiced by Moreno-Melchor,” said the Judicial Watch complaint.

The ADI reported at the time that Moreno Melchor “livestreamed her hysterical reaction to the presence of two Border Patrol agents who were invited to speak to a group of criminal justice majors.”

“I don’t know who allowed the murder patrol,” said Moreno Melchor while filming the agents through the doorway. “They allow murderers to be on campus where I pay to be here. Murderers! On campus. Murderers! On campus.”

Related article:

U of A students harass, curse Border Patrol agents invited to speak on Career Day

In April, a small group of instructors and professors demanded in a letter that the University of Arizona Police drop the charges. Radical students also held a rally in support of the students:


 

32 Comments

  1. The picture at the head of this story says it all. Did you expect anything different from LaWall who is part of the Grijalva mafia? Same old story, liberal instutition and idiot’s running it what the hell do you think is going to happen. Free speech, I think not. Just think what would happen to a conservative student group if they harassed a liberal or progressive speaker like these idiot kids did. No need to answer, we all know they would have been charged. Our universities are turning into sewers and no one cares. Just think what is going to happen to this country in another 10 years with kids like this trying to take control… I don’t want to be here and I hope I am not.

    • Grijalva’s actions are consistently disgusting. We really need to fight his actions in this matter. Yes, I will be glad to be gone out of the next generation’s despicable actions.

    • Good plan, I was born and raised here been living on a small island in the Philippines 3sq mi, over here a other year then back to my house over there, to much BS and you all drive to fast here

  2. U of A President Robbins should expel Denise Moreno Melchor and any other student or staff that behaves in such a crude, uncivilized manner on campus towards certified officers of the law who are invited on the U of A campus. Robbins receives a tidy salary for the responsibility of maintaining a high degree of social decorum and civility on the U of A campus. If he can’t do that, he has no business being U of A president, anymore than Melchor and crew have any business being enrolled at the U of A. Her behavior is disgusting. It would be a great service to the Tucson community if her abuela would backhand her for disgracing her family. That’s what abuelas did when I was a kid!

  3. Unfortunately these students are learning the wrong lesson and it could easily come back to kill them when they cross the line sometime in the future and the reaction is fatal. I, personally, do not have confidence in the County Attorney in any way, shape, or form. And this just re-enforces that.

    • Need to just cancel all student loans and grants. Most of the trash polluting our schools could not afford to go if they had to pay for it.

  4. Sicking Arizonaians are becoming Dòor matt to this
    Why are we putting up with it
    Are we this weak! Are we this yellow to allow a student a lil girl do this to us
    Shame on Us! We should be a putting up a fight

    • We have got to fight LaWall’s decision. Seriously people. These snot-nose brats will probably kill you because you are too old and they are too entitled.

  5. Simply outraged at the cowardice and partisanship of Barbra LaWall. The Left in this country has no guts or integrity. None of them. Really.

  6. Prime example of Pima County, the hateful liberal left agenda and what our education system has become. It’s time to turn the tide folks. I’m proud of the Border Patrol agents for not lowering themselves into engaging these ‘children’. If that would have been my daughter that did that, she would have been in deep trouble. But parents that allow their children to act this way are equally at fault.

  7. Is anyone really surprised by this/ After the Jussie Smollette fiasco why should we expect any more of Barbara LaWall. She’s as corrupt as the prosecutor of the Smollett case. As lons as the Dims have a super control of this county and city things like this will continue to happen.

  8. Just like the Jonathan Sparks case – no law enforcement for Democrats in Tucson. Remember when “Occupy” got cited for trespassing? When they got to court it was all dropped. Open corruption right in our faces.

  9. Isn’t there a
    School of Law
    @ U of A ??

    BabblaWallz only takes cases she thinks she can win..too bad she didn’t have audio and video and eye witness evidence .
    Border patrol agents and Future Law enforcement club members are not credible enuf, Babbla?

  10. Disgusting liberal scum that wants to destroy our nation, spit on our laws and those that serve our communities. I have an idea, how about you leave and go to all of these wonderful places you want here. Go to hell

  11. I can’t wait for the U of A Alumni Association to call me looking for a handout. They will get nothing but an earful.

    • Exactly. It is time for the Governor, Legislature and the Board of Regents to do their jobs and take appropriate action(S) to require the President of the U of A to enforce the U of A code of conduct and require ALL students to respect the freedom of speech guaranteed to all Americans, including students whose views differ from their own AND that includes Border Patrol personnel and other visitors to the U of A campus.

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      Please review TAG Policy Paper #3
      Inbox
      x

      Craig Cantoni

      Apr 21, 2019, 9:52 AM (1 day ago)

      to CCan2

      Dear Friends: Happy Easter. I plan to distribute the following 2,600-word paper to key media and influential people tomorrow. Please let me have your suggested changes if you can find time today.

      Thanks,
      Craig Cantoni
      Draft: Not for Dissemination
      Policy Paper 3:
      All Tucson Roads Lead to Poverty

      Tucson Advisory Group (TAG)
      April 21, 2019

      Contact: Craig J. Cantoni
      Ccan2@aol.com or craigcantoni@gmail.com

      Note: This is the third policy paper in a series of policy papers by the Tucson Advisory Group (TAG). The previous papers are available on request.

      Summary

      A soon as the nonpartisan Tucson Advisory Group was formed a few months ago, native Tucsonans who are civic-minded and well-versed in local history tried to convince TAG that there is a connection between the terrible condition of streets in the metropolis and the high poverty rate in the city and much of the surrounding county.

      It stands to reason that a poor metropolis might have difficulty keeping streets in good condition. But that was not the point that they were making. Rather, the point was that the problems of poverty and terrible streets have a common cause: decades of bad governance.

      TAG at first dismissed the claim out of hand, for two reasons: First, TAG was wary that this was nothing more than partisan politics and a ploy to get more Republicans elected to the Democrat-controlled Tucson city council and county board of supervisors. Second, TAG’s inclination is to avoid politically-charged opinions and accusations, because it wants to live up to its motto of “Facts not Politics.”

      Now, having had time to research the facts about the conditions of streets, TAG has come to the conclusion that the claim of bad governance has merit and cannot be ignored if the metro area’s problems are to be solved, including not only the problem of bad streets but the deeper problems of poverty and a lack of overall prosperity. TAG would have reached this conclusion even if the city and county had been headed for years by Mother Teresa or Mahatma Gandhi.

      Objective Facts about Streets

      Although Tucsonans do not need an objective measurement to know that city and county streets are in bad condition, there is an objective measurement used by municipal governments across the nation. The measurement is the Pavement Condition Index, or PCI.

      The PCI gives a numeric score on the condition of pavement, using a scale of 0 – 100, with a zero being a potholed, crumbling street and a 100 being a new street that meets nationwide engineering standards. Under the evaluation system, a PCI score of 85-100 is rated as “excellent,” 70-84 as “good”, 50-69 as “at-risk”, 25-49 as “poor”, and 0-24 as “very poor”. (Some municipalities use different adjectives.)

      The index only reflects pavement conditions. It does not measure traffic congestion, traffic management, the number of pull-outs for buses, or whether roadsides and medians are free of weeds, litter and illegal signs.

      Well-run municipalities retain a third-party consulting firm to examine pavement conditions and assign a score. They also publish the results and set a goal to achieve or maintain a certain PCI in coming years, typically in the higher end of the “good” range.

      A key finding of engineering studies is that the cost of street repairs increases dramatically if pavement is not maintained in the “good” range. For example, it can cost eight times more to repair a street that has fallen to the “poor” or “very poor” range than it would have cost to keep the street in the “good” range.

      This reflects the maxim, “Deferred maintenance is the most expensive kind of maintenance.”

      Surface treatment is the least expensive way of keeping streets in good condition. It includes fiber sealing, chip sealing, micro sealing, and crack sealing, as needed.

      Once streets begin to fall out of the “good” category, a more expensive mill and overlay repair is typically necessary, entailing grinding away the top layer of pavement and replacing it with one and one-half inches of new asphalt.

      And when conditions reach the “very poor” or “serious” level, it is often necessary to dig up the street down to the dirt and literally rebuild the street from the ground up. (Some county streets that underwent the mill-and-overlay treatment are already beginning to deteriorate, thus suggesting that the streets should have been rebuilt from the ground up.)

      It is not a surprise but is still dismaying and embarrassing that streets in Pima County rank low on the PCI, with most in the “poor” category. To see specifics, the following link will take you to a map of the PCI for arterial, collector and neighborhood streets in the county.

      https://pimamaps.pima.gov/Html5Viewer/index.html?configBase=https://pimamaps.pima.gov/Geocortex/Essentials/REST/sites/transportationsite/viewers/transportationmap/virtualdirectory/Resources/Config/Default&layertheme=2

      In spite of the lousy condition of streets, the county has not set a measurable goal for improving the PCI from year to year, or at least not one that could be found on the county’s website and annual budget. If there is a goal, it is not stated prominently somewhere, and for sure, county officials have not been held accountable and fired for letting roads deteriorate to the “poor” level. This alone speaks volumes about county governance.

      PCI scores for city streets cannot even be found on the City of Tucson’s website. There is a map showing what streets will be maintained or repaired with the funds from the voter-approved tax increase for streets (and parks), but no PCI scores and thus no goals for improving the scores.

      However, Internet research did discover a slide presentation made by the city’s transportation department in 2017 on the condition of city streets. Here is the link:

      http://webcms.pima.gov/UserFiles/Servers/Server_6/File/Government/Transportation/TransportationAdvisoryCommittee/DocumentsTab/COT%20Presentation%20to%20PCTAC%20w%20Allocation%20Map.pdf

      The slide presentation shows that at the time of the report, a staggering 81.6% of city streets were in poor, very poor, or failed condition. And it states that even with the tax increase for road repairs, an additional $610 million would be needed to bring streets up to standard. That’s a lot of deferred maintenance. It’s also a lot of bad governance, for this unacceptable situation did not come about overnight and was due to deferred maintenance over several administrations.

      If there were a measurement for weeds, litter, and illegal signs in medians and along roadways, the county and city would get a failing score for these conditions, also. The same with parks and other public places. This is bad governance to the third power.

      The Cost of Bad Governance

      It has proved impossible for TAG to nail down what it would cost to bring all county and city streets up to standard, as the estimates vary by the agency or group doing the estimating. However, $1 billion is a reasonable guess.

      Much of this $1 billion would be unnecessary if streets had been maintained properly. How much is hard to say, but it certainly amounts to hundreds of millions of dollars—money that could have been spent in helping the poor directly or indirectly by improving city and county services and amenities to make the metropolis an attractive place for rich companies to locate high-wage headquarters and other facilities. TAG will let Democrats and Republicans debate what could have been done with the money, but the larger point is that it was obscene for city and county governments to defer road maintenance for so long that the cost of repairs has precluded other uses of the money.

      No doubt, many of the responsible politicians and their constituents would say they care about the poor and be truthful in that assessment of themselves. But they allowed this situation to exist for decades and thus ended up hurting people.

      There are other costs of lousy roads, such as damage to vehicles, traffic congestion, and auto accidents. Then there is the intangible cost of what bad roads signal to companies that are considering where to put high-wage operations. They signal that metro Tucson is not a well-governed place to live and work.

      Examples of Good Governance

      There are plenty of examples of municipalities that set PCI improvement goals. They are easy to find with an Internet search.

      The writer of this policy paper prefers to use Scottsdale as an example of good governance, because he knows the city intimately after living there for 25 years. Moreover, for seven years of that time, he commented on city affairs for the Arizona Republic in his popular opinion column.

      Tucsonans do not like comparisons to Scottsdale, because, with some justification, the city of 230,000 is seen as hoity-toity and phony and thus not a place to emulate. But Scottsdale is an example of good governance—not perfect governance, but good governance. Some may think that the city’s good governance is the result of the city’s wealth. Actually, the city’s wealth is the result of good governance.

      Tucson and Pima County do not seem to have learned this lesson of cause and effect—of good governance leading to prosperity.

      An example of Scottsdale’s good governance is the city council commissioning an independent audit a couple of years ago of the city’s pavement operations, to “evaluate the “efficiency and cost-effectiveness of the pavement overlay and maintenance program, including use of voter-approved bond funding.”

      This writer, who has driven just about every Scottsdale street and has walked along many of them, cannot recall one street that is not in excellent condition.

      The audit report concluded that although Scottsdale streets are in good condition, the city should be using the PCI to set improvement goals. The full report can be found at:

      https://www.scottsdaleaz.gov/Assets/ScottsdaleAZ/Auditor/Audit-Reports/2017+Reports/Pavement+Operations+-+Report+1704.pdf#search=street%20paving%20crack%20sealing

      Has the City of Tucson or Pima County ever commissioned such an independent audit? Did Chuck Huckleberry commission one when he was in charge of the county transportation department or later during his long tenure as county administrator? If so, please let TAG know where to find it.

      In fairness to the City of Tucson, Mayor Rothschild, who has announced his retirement from public office, did exhibit good governance in his State of the City address this year. He admitted that voters approved more spending on streets because the city had finally earned their trust after years of reneging on promises. Maybe it takes an outgoing mayor to admit that a city had been governed poorly.

      As noted in TAG’s first policy paper, another example of local good governance is the establishment of the Regional Transportation Authority and the Pima Association of Governments, both of which support regional cooperation on road planning and funding. On the other hand, as also detailed in the first policy paper, these efforts pale in comparison to the regional transportation planning and funding in metro Phoenix by the Maricopa Association of Government, an association that encompasses 28 municipalities and Maricopa County.

      The Dysfunctional Politics of Bad Governance

      Bad governance has led to dysfunctional politics. Or is it the other way around?

      One symptom of dysfunctional politics is the excruciating ordeal required to find answers to simple questions, such as, “Why did you let the roads deteriorate?”

      It’s as if a shell game of “hide the pea” is being played in the City of Tucson and Pima County, but especially in the county.

      The game goes like this: When someone asks why roads are in bad condition, or where road money is being spent, or why money can’t be shifted to roads from elsewhere, or why the county has the highest property taxes of all Arizona counties, or how county staffing compares to other counties—the answers are so vague or complicated or unverifiable that the asker feels stupid for asking the questions.

      Actually, Tucsonans should feel insane, not stupid. In keeping with the definition of insanity, citizens and the media have been asking the same questions for years and getting the same result: obfuscation.

      A review of newspaper archives reveals that the same issues have been raised over and over for years and keep being hit back over the net by politicians, like professional badminton players slamming a shuttlecock. They excel at political badminton and political shell games but not at such basic services as maintaining roads.

      Even when county and city staffers are honest about issues at meetings of citizen commissions and townhalls, citizen input is largely ignored when it gets to the top.

      A suggestion: Stop playing the games with them. They will always win as insiders, because they control the data and budgets and can produce “facts” to back up what they are saying.

      Besides, it is their responsibility to present issues, options, tradeoffs, comparisons, and costs in ways that are easily understood by citizens and the media. It is not the responsibility of citizens and the media to do this for them.

      The political gameplaying is made easier because both the city and county have been de facto one-party governments for decades. Yes, there have been Republican mayors of Tucson and Republican county supervisors, but Democrats have maintained majority control and are not about to admit that they own today’s problems and hold themselves accountable.

      This is not to praise Republicans or denigrate Democrats. Nor is it to suggest that a two-party system is perfect. It is just to suggest that a two-party system is better than a one-party system, because the parties can keep an eye on each other so that taxpayers are not fleeced too badly and so that patronage, cronyism, self-dealing, and featherbedding do not get to the levels of a banana republic.

      County Supervisor Ally Miller takes this responsibility seriously as a member of the minority party. TAG cannot vouch for the accuracy or validity of her observations, but she has conducted exhaustive analyses of county budgets, staffing and plans. She has also proposed in detail how county roads can be repaired without raising taxes or floating bonds. TAG is not taking a position on her proposal at this time, other than to say that this kind of analysis is what voters should expect from politicians. See for yourself. The paper can be found at:

      https://allymillerdistrict1.com/2015/12/supervisor-ally-millers-fix-our-roads-plan/

      The rest of the local Republican Party seems to be missing in action. Perhaps this is due to the following reasons:

      · The party has an image problem in Tucson.

      · Tucsonans tend to vote a strict Democrat ticket.

      · Twelve of the top 15 employers in the metropolis lean Democrat, due to being either government institutions (e.g., the University of Arizona) or being dependent for most of their revenue on government money (e.g., hospitals).

      · The City of Tucson’s charter of ward primaries and city-wide general elections makes it difficult for Republicans win a council seat.

      Whatever the reason, it is a shame that the metropolis does not have more political diversity. (TAG would be saying the same thing if Republicans controlled local government.)

      On top of all of this political dysfunction, too much of the Tucson metropolis is unincorporated county (36% in metro Tucson vs. 6% in metro Phoenix). As discussed in the first two policy papers, a county can never provide the amenities, services, maintenance, and responsiveness of a well-run municipality.

      There is ample evidence of this truism in the unincorporated parts of the metropolis, including in the wealthier neighborhoods in the Foothills, where county streets are in as bad of condition as the inner-city. But wealthier residents of the county can afford to establish their own enclaves, or community associations, to insulate themselves from the dysfunctional politics and bad governance. They can choose to live behind gates and walls in such communities as La Paloma or Ventana Canyon, where the streets are in as good of condition as the streets in Scottsdale, because they are maintained by the homeowners’ association instead of the county.

      The rest of the citizens in the city and county don’t realize that their streets could be as good as the streets in these HOAs if they did something about the dysfunctional politics and bad governance. That they do not do something is the great tragedy of Tucson.

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  12. Excellent written article. Almost every issue can be addressed directly to Tempe and Phoenix. As a transportation driver that drives the roads on daily basis, the roads around downtown Mill and ASU and around Phoenix downtown for several miles are in shambles. They are causing damage to vehicles.
    They continue to build massive multi story units that increase traffic astronomically without any road improvements for years. The PCI rating has to be 0-25 at this point. They also are building trolly rail in Tempe which is eliminating vehicle traffic lanes. This is and will cause massive vehicle traffic jams especially during events.
    Both Tempe and Phoenix need massive investigation into how tax payer funds are being used and tax give away to developers and builders.

  13. RAUL, why don’t you move to MEXICO, the ONLY VOTES you get are on the WEST SIDE and South Side of Tucson, all the REST of MEXICAN/ AMERICAN’S especially LAW Enforcement, Military, Border Partrol, ICE, ECT., The people who ARE LAW ABIDING can’t STAND YOU, also start dressing a little more professional if you are REPRESENTING AZ, in any way!!!

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