College releases Loughner's suspension records

PHOENIX (AP) - The community college that the Tucson shooting rampage suspect had attended released records Tuesday detailing a meeting over his suspension from the school just three months before the attack.

In an Oct. 4 meeting with school administrators and his parents, Jared Lee Loughner said he wanted to withdraw from Pima Community College, rather than go forward with determining whether he broke the school's discipline code.

School officials had suspended Loughner over safety concerns stemming from his classroom disruptions, concerns of teachers and a YouTube video by Loughner.

They told Loughner that if he wanted to return to the college, he would have to resolve the allegations and get a mental health clearance.

Until he did so, Loughner "should not be present on college property or attend any college event or activity without my express written consent," the school's vice president of student development, Darla Zirbes, wrote in a Oct. 7 letter.

Loughner also was sent a suspension notice by campus police saying that if he returned to campus without permission, he would be arrested for criminal trespassing.

Loughner has pleaded not guilty in the Jan. 8 shooting that killed six people and wounded 13 others, including Rep. Gabrielle Giffords.

The YouTube video in question showed Loughner touring the campus at night and at times rambling about free speech and the Constitution.

Loughner shot and narrated the video tour of the campus that illustrated his deep anger toward it, at one point saying "I'm gonna be homeless because of this school." In the video, he calls the college "a genocide school."

Emails released by the college nearly two months ago documented several outbursts by Loughner while at the college and efforts by school officials to confront his unusual behavior. Loughner, who began attending the college in 2005, became increasingly disruptive in the summer and fall of 2010.

Loughner has pleaded not guilty to 49 charges in the shooting and has been at a Missouri prison facility since late May after mental health experts had determined he suffers from schizophrenia and a judge ruled him mentally unfit to stand trial.

A college police officer wanted to expel Loughner after he caused an outburst in a math class in June 2010. But a dean said she wasn't ready to do so and expressed concerns about Loughner's due-process rights.

The apparent final straw was a disturbance by Loughner on Sept. 23, 2010. Campus police records showed a teacher asked an officer to meet her outside her classroom to deal with Loughner because he was being verbally disruptive.

The emails and suspension records were released after The Arizona Republic newspaper sued the college because it withheld documents mentioning Loughner. A judge rejected the school's argument that the records were protected by federal privacy law.

Earlier Tuesday, a federal appeals court ruled that prison officials can't resume their forcible medication of psychotropic drugs for Loughner.

The ruling by a three-judge panel of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeal kept in place an earlier order that temporarily stopped the involuntary medication of Loughner. The order will remain in effect until the court rules on an appeal by Loughner's attorneys over the larger issue of forced medication.

The appeals court ruled that Loughner's interest in not suffering the risk of side effects from powerful drugs is stronger than the government's interest in protecting Loughner and those around him in prison.

But it noted that authorities can take steps to maintain the safety of prison officials, other inmates or Loughner, including forcibly giving him tranquilizers.

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Associated Press writers Michelle Price and Amanda Lee Myers in Phoenix and Michael R. Blood in Los Angeles contributed to this report.


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