Tom Horne Staffer Gets Testy with Activist (Video)

The protest outside of Attorney General Tom Horne's office earlier this week.
The protest outside of Attorney General Tom Horne's office earlier this week.
Photo by Matthew Hendley

Activists keep showing up to Attorney General Tom Horne's office to protest Horne's lawsuit to keep DREAMers from being able to pay in-state tuition at community colleges.

On Wednesday, a Horne staffer got a bit testy with Citizens for a Better Arizona activist Beto Soto, who's been leading some of the protests at Horne's office.

See also:
-Tom Horne's Fight Against In-State Tuition for DREAMers Leads to More Arrests
-Tom Horne Not Budging on Tuition for DREAMers

The moment, which Soto refers to as an "assault," was caught on video, as Charles Loftus -- a longtime cop who now works at the AG's Office -- snatches a paper out of Soto's hand:

"I was startled, alarmed, and embarrassed when Mr. Loftus snatched the paper from my hand and began to speak to me in a derogatory and insulting manner," Soto said in a statement he released later Wednesday. "I knew deep down that I had a right to be there and I was not going to let Mr. Horne, Mr. Loftus or anyone from the Capitol Police deny me of my First Amendment rights to freedom of assembly and speech."

According to the statement, "CBA is now considering legal action against Mr. Horne, Mr. Loftus and Capitol Police."

Loftus has been front-and-center at many of the protests at Horne's office, including during the arrests of four activists there the day before.

Interestingly, CBA says the people who were arrested there on Tuesday were booked into jail for hours, instead of cited and released for their acts of civil disobedience, which has been the case in prior instances.

In addition, they say activists who were arrested at the AG's Office in Tucson at the same time were cited and released.

CBA activists have suggested that Horne's retaliating for the protests at his office. Which have ranged from theatrical, to in-your-face.

In one case, CBA secured a sit-down meeting with Horne at his office. They asked him to drop this lawsuit, and he said he wouldn't.

At that point, protesters unfurled a banner that said Horne cheated on his wife, cheated the voters by skirting campaign-finance law, tried to cheat the law with his hit-and-run, and is now trying to cheat DREAMers out of an education.

Beto Soto (left) and other activists unrolled a poster for Horne.
Beto Soto (left) and other activists unrolled a poster for Horne.
Photo by Matthew Hendley

Horne didn't stay in the room much longer after that, and one CBA activist was arrested after that.

In other protests, DREAMers have burned their high school diplomas, tried to deliver an urn of their dreams to Horne, and even brought in a taco truck to symbolize their futures without the option of an affordable education.

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Follow Matthew Hendley on Twitter at @MatthewHendley.

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