Koch Faces Court Date

Andrew Harrell, Daily Tar Heel (University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill), May 27, 2009

Senior Haley Koch, the only person to be arrested so far for last month’s protest of former U.S. Rep. Tom Tancredo, R-Colo., has jumped out of the frying pan and into the fire.

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Koch said she will be keeping her Morehead-Cain scholarship after meeting with Morehead-Cain Foundation Director Chuck Lovelace to discuss what took place and her role in the April 14 protest.

Now, Koch faces a court date Monday after being arrested nine days after the protest for disturbing the peace.

Meanwhile, the University’s Department of Public Safety is in the middle of an internal review sparked by a formal complaint submitted by students.

Koch and the authors of the complaint have said that what was a peaceful demonstration was escalated by the police’s use of pepper spray and pushing students down and grabbing them by the hair.

University police have said their use of pepper spray on students and the discharge of a Taser as a warning were necessitated by the rowdy nature of the protest, which culminated in a broken window in the Bingham Hall classroom where the speech was to be held.

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Koch and another student stood with a banner in the front of the classroom where Tancredo had been invited to speak on immigration by the campus group Youth for Western Civilization, shouting over Tancredo so he was unable to speak.

Although he was unable to comment further on the protest investigation because it too is ongoing, Young [Randy Young, spokesman for DPS] added that further arrests of the more than 100 protestors are still possible.

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[Koch] said she expects at least a hundred students to be present at a protest outside the courthouse at noon Monday, including leaders of various campus organizations.

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[Editor’s Note: Earlier stories relevant to this one are listed here.]

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