Charges dismissed against 46 arrested during pro-Palestinian protest at UT Austin

Travis County Attorney Delia Garza said the cases lacked probable cause. Nearly 60 people were arrested for allegedly trespassing during the demonstration.

By Andrew Weber, KUT NewsApril 25, 2024 12:16 pm, , ,

From KUT News:

Charges have been dismissed against 46 people arrested at a protest Wednesday on UT Austin’s campus, Travis County Attorney Delia Garza said.

“Legal concerns were raised by defense counsel, we reviewed each case individually and agreed there were deficiencies in the probable cause affidavits,” she told KUT in a text. “The Court affirmed and ordered the release of the individuals.”

Nearly 60 people were arrested for allegedly trespassing during the pro-Palestinian demonstration. Garza said her office would continue to review cases to determine whether prosecution “is factually and legally appropriate.”

Hundreds of demonstrators gathered on UT campus Wednesday as part of a walkout and protest in support of Palestinians and demanding a ceasefire in Gaza. The protest, organized by the Palestine Solidarity Committee, was met by a multiagency show of force. State police responded by request from UT President Jay Hartzell and Gov. Greg Abbott, who characterized the protest as violent and anti-Semitic.

Officers from the Austin Police Department, UT Police and the Department of Public Safety attempted to clear the university’s south lawn. Dozens of protesters were arrested for criminal trespassing, a misdemeanor akin to loitering, or disorderly conduct, which is also a misdemeanor.

A protest organized by faculty condemning the police response to Wednesday’s demonstration is planned for Thursday at the UT Tower.

The demonstrations are part of a wave of protests over Israel’s war in Gaza.

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