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UNC student cleared of wrongdoing in campus protest

Posted September 14, 2009

— A judge on Monday dismissed a disorderly conduct charge against a University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill student who was arrested during a political protest on campus last spring.

Helen Elizabeth "Haley" Koch was arrested on April 15 for trying to disrupt a speech by former Congressman Tom Tancredo.

Police had to halt Tancredo's speech after demonstrators broke a window. The Colorado conservative is an outspoken critic of U.S. policies on immigration.

Two other protesters who were arrested a week later during a speech on immigration by former Virginia Rep. Virgil Goode pleaded guilty Monday before District Judge Joe Buckner, and four others still face charges in that case.

None of those six people is a UNC student or employee.

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  • zanerx Sep 15, 2009

    "A window was broken, but Haley Koch had nothing to do with the window. She stood in front of the student introducing Mr. Tancredo while holding a banner. She left peacefully as soon as the police asked her to - at least that is what the police testified to."

    That's what I had heard as well. Of course, that won't stop some of the idiotic wingnuts on GOLO - they will simply continue to spew their vitriolic lies and distortions.

  • Kristen168 Sep 15, 2009

    This is wrong. She should have served some time or done some public service. But anymore, they let everybody off for everything. I'm tired of people who don't speak for me getting up and acting like they do, especially a young girl who has little experience in life except what little has trickled into her brain so far.

  • 2Leo Sep 15, 2009

    another example of those that say, "I believe in free speech" and shout "equal rights for all"...unless of course you don't believe the same as I do and I will find a way to shut you up

  • 6079 SMITH W Sep 15, 2009

    Perhaps some of these "progressive thinkers" that think the influx of illegal immigrants is only a good thing to make us more "culturally diverse" would have a slightly different outlook if the jobs and careers that they have chosen were threatened by the overwhelming tide of our open borders. But to be absolutely realistic, I do not anticipate that there will any sort of trends in the future toward lawyers, doctors and college level educators from south of the border who would come to our country and work for less than half of what the going rate is here. How quickly they would sing a different tune! Anyhow, I think that most people were upset by the fact most of these "students" were in fact nothing more than paid activist sent in to play the "we have to put a stop to these poor hardworking people being racially discriminated against" card. Funny how the working poor natives don't get the same consideration... myself included.

  • Professor Sep 15, 2009

    What will she try next, since she technically go away with this?

  • DontLikeTheSocialistObama Sep 15, 2009

    What do you expect from a liberal judge in liberal Chapel Hill (Orange County).

    This student should have gotten jail time for disorderly conduct.

  • Tom Morrow Sep 15, 2009

    So this UNC student should be reprimanded for protesting, but your precious Joe Wilson should NOT be reprimanded for yelling at the President??!

  • wolff Sep 15, 2009

    I guess it's ok to disrupt guest speakers at UNC if you disagree with them. Or is it only ok if you believe a certain way? mmmhmm

  • mpheels Sep 15, 2009

    A window was broken, but Haley Koch had nothing to do with the window. She stood in front of the student introducing Mr. Tancredo while holding a banner. She left peacefully as soon as the police asked her to - at least that is what the police testified to. There were certainly people involved who deserve to be charge/punished, like those who actually broke the window and threatened violence, but Ms. Koch was nothing more than a scapegoat.

  • readerman Sep 15, 2009

    The judge (Buckner) is a graduate of UNC.

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