Democrat Judge Dropped Charges Against ASU Pro-Hamas Rally Participants

 May 16, 2024

A judge at the University Lakes Justice Court in Chandler, Arizona, dismissed charges against 71 protesters arrested for trespassing at Arizona State University.

According to Breitbart News, the dismissal was without prejudice, allowing for future prosecution within the next year.

In a packed courtroom on Tuesday, Justice of the Peace Tyler Kissell, a Democrat, dismissed charges against the 71 protesters who were arrested in late April for trespassing at Arizona State University during a pro-Hamas rally.  The decision means that while the charges are dropped, they could be refiled within a year, leaving the door open for future legal action.

Charges Dropped But Could Return

The rally at Arizona State University, which led to the arrests, was organized by Mass Liberation Arizona. This group advocates for the abolition of police and prisons and supports Hamas. The event was held without authorization, resulting in an encampment that violated university policies. ASU Police arrested 72 individuals, but only 71 were connected to the protests.

Justice Kissell's ruling does not fully exonerate the protesters, as the dismissal was issued without prejudice. This legal nuance means the court retains the right to refile charges if deemed necessary. The judge's decision has sparked a mix of relief and uncertainty among the accused and their supporters.

Mass Liberation Arizona organized a rally outside the courthouse on the day of the hearing, drawing approximately 100 people in support of the accused protesters. The group continues to assert its stance on various social justice issues.

Rally Outside The Courthouse

Funding for Mass Liberation Arizona comes from notable sources, including the Tides Foundation, with contributions from Liz Simons and Mark Heising of the Heising-Simons Foundation, and George Soros. Liz Simons and Mark Heising are also signatories of the Giving Pledge, a commitment initiated by Bill Gates and Warren Buffet. This financial backing has played a significant role in the organization's activities and outreach.

The protesters' arrest has also highlighted Arizona State University's policies on campus safety and freedom of speech. Encampments are banned on ASU property, and demonstrations are restricted to specific hours. These regulations aim to balance the safety of the university community with the right to free expression.

About 80% of those arrested were not affiliated with ASU as students, faculty, or staff. This statistic has been a focal point in discussions about the legitimacy and impact of the protests.

University Policies Under Scrutiny

Among the 71 defendants, 20 were ASU students who faced suspension from the university. These students sought legal recourse by filing a lawsuit to reverse their suspensions. However, Federal Judge John Tuchi denied their request for a temporary injunction on May 3, leaving their academic status in limbo.

Supporters of the accused gathered outside the courthouse during the hearing, showing solidarity and raising questions about the broader implications of the university's policies on freedom of speech and security. The ongoing judicial procedures have significant consequences for the student's academic futures and their standing at the university.

The university has emphasized its commitment to ensuring safety while supporting the right to free speech. This delicate balance continues to be a point of contention as the legal and academic outcomes of this case unfold.


The recent dismissal of charges against 71 protesters arrested at Arizona State University has drawn considerable attention and stirred debate. Justice of the Peace Tyler Kissell's decision to dismiss the charges without prejudice allows for the possibility of future legal action. The protests, organized by Mass Liberation Arizona, were part of a broader push for social justice and support for Hamas. Financial backing for the group from prominent donors has added another layer to the story. The situation has also brought to light the university's policies on demonstrations and the implications for freedom of speech on campus.

About Robert Cunningham

With years of experience at the forefront of political commentary, Robert Cunningham brings a blend of sharp wit and deep insight to his analysis of American principles at the Capitalism Institute.

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