Attorney General Tom Horne has referred people to a YouTube video of a group of people who confronted him outside the state Capitol building earlier this week.

In a news release, Horne called the protesters, who included adults and children, "thuggish." The crowd encircled Horne as he prepared for an interview with Univision and followed him to a parking lot, chanting phrases including "educate don't hate," "racist" and "liar," until Horne drove off in his gold Jaguar.

At least one held a sign that referred to Arizona's ethnic studies law and SB 1611, which would require schools to demand proof of citizenship or legal residence from parents enrolling a child in a public school.

Horne is the former Arizona superintendent of public instruction. He called for the elimination of the Tucson Unified School District's Mexican-American Studies program, saying it violates the state's ethnic-studies law, which Horne helped write.

The law prohibits courses that promote the overthrow of the U.S. government, promote resentment toward a race or class of people, are designed primarily for pupils of a particular ethnic group or advocate ethnic solidarity instead of the treatment of pupils as individuals.

Horne noted that the video, posted on YouTube, was not produced by his office.

"The raza studies program teaches irrational mob behavior as a matter of habit," Horne said, although he acknowledged on Thursday that he didn't know if any among the protesters had taken a Mexican-American studies course.

Contact reporter Alexis Huicochea at or 573-4175.