Marion Bae, FISM News
A spokesman for the Arizona State University Police Department has confirmed that four people will be charged with misdemeanor offenses regarding the harassment of a Senator in a public women’s restroom.
The story broke earlier this month when a video of the “protest” was posted to LUCHA Arizona’s Twitter account. The viral video with over six-million views is under two minutes long, starting outside of U.S. Senator Krysten Sinema’s classroom and quickly escalating as the activists follow her into a nearby restroom. One of the four is a man, standing and recording outside of Sinema’s stall as other women are seen leaving the restroom.
Early on in the video one protestor says, “We need a Build Back Better plan right now,” referencing the Build Back Better act that moderate Democratic Senators Sinema (Ariz) and Joe Manchin (W-Va) publicly opposed. The LUCHA Arizona Twitter account was posting critiques of both Manchin and Sinema in the days leading up to this incident.
Blanca, an “AZ immigrant youth” who seems to be recording the video, then threatens Sinema, saying “We knocked down doors for you to get you elected, and just how we got you elected, we can get you out of office if you don’t support what you promised us.”
Sinema is recorded in a second video, also posted to Twitter, leaving the restroom and retreating back to her classroom. Even after she closes the door the activists continue chanting in the hall, “Build Back Better. Pass the bill.”
Senator Sinema posted a statement to her Twitter account the following day, calling the protest not legitimate. She also called the behavior inappropriate and said her students were victimized in the process.
When President Joe Biden was asked by a reporter about the in-person harassment that both Manchin and Sinema had faced, he admitted the tactics were inappropriate, but maintained that it was “part of the process.”
Adam Wolfe told the Arizona Mirror this week that all four individuals have been referred for charges following an investigation that recently concluded. A spokeswoman for the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office confirmed the referral.
The allegations include two misdemeanor charges: disorderly conduct and disruption of an educational institution. Neither address the fact that Sinema was filmed in the restroom. Arizona does have a law that prohibits surreptitious filming in certain instances, but it wasn’t included in the referral.
None of the suspects have been named by ASU or MCOA at this time.