ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – A hearing is set for Tuesday for a woman facing charges related to a protest on UNM’s campus. When conservative speaker Charlie Kirk came to campus on November 30 it sparked a protest. Three people were detained, issued summons, and kicked off campus.
Lieutenant Tim Stump with the UNM Police Department explained, “The things that go wrong in a protest are when they break a law. You start blocking traffic, you don’t allow people to come attend the event. You do anything, any kind of damage, damage to a building, damage to any of the assets at the location.”
People were protesting Kirk, chairman of Students for Trump, who came to UNM for an event. State police showed up in riot gear and at one point, tensions rose as they tried to move the protestors away from the event.
According to three criminal complaints, several protestors were attempting to block people from entering the event, banging on the walls, and when the three defendants fell to the ground, they refused to stand up. That’s when they were cuffed and taken to a processing area. The charges listed on the complaint included interfering with public officials, trespassing, and criminal damage to property.
UNM police say they want to work with protestors to make sure things go smoothly and encourage communication before protests take place. Lieutenant Stump continues, “If you have questions, you can call me, you can ask, you know, what do you expect? ‘Hey, I want to go protest this event,’ you know, ‘how do I do that?’ They can talk to the dean of students, they can talk to student activities, you know, through the provost office; through myself.”
Two out of the three people charged have had their cases dismissed. The third person has filed a motion to dismiss her case. A hearing is set for February 21 to address that.
Online court documents show that two of the people involved have been banned from campus. All three individuals have filed complaints against UNM claiming the school has refused to release public records requests about the protest and their arrests.