It seems common at the College for a student to do something defiant and for police to respond unprofessionally. As a senior, I’ve read a fair share of official e-mails and Signal articles concerning Campus Police who have seemingly violated student rights by behaving in a way that did not show enough civility.
Frankly, this is an embarrassment to the College in two ways. For one, we have students who believe they can do what they want without consequence. Secondly, we have police officers who act unprofessionally while exerting their authority.
The incident with Mike Tracey is no exception. The truth is Tracey showed disregard for authority and orderly conduct and is in his current situation through his own fault and actions. According to Tracey, police stepped over the line by calling him names such as “fucking asshole,” “faggot” and “shithead.”
For those who did not attend Ann Coulter’s talk, she lectured on the creation of victims in extreme circumstances in order to use the sympathy of others as a tool for personal or political gain. In an illustration of liberal hypocrisy, she talked about how Democrats painted a negative picture of Republican Dan Quayle, using his name, but then turned around and made Obama a victim of the image his middle name created.
She demonstrated how ridiculous it is for anyone to stereotype someone by his or her name and asked why certain Republicans weren’t justified in using Obama’s name to imply he was soft on terror when Democrats were doing the same thing.
Through lack of comprehension, Tracey asked her if “she meant to suggest that everyone with a Muslim-sounding name should thereby be considered sympathetic to terrorists.” She called him stupid and re-explained.
According to various online accounts of Tracey’s experience, Tracey decided to ask Coulter his question again during the book signing. When he got on stage, security asked him to leave since he was not allowed on stage without a book. Tracey said he had a question for Coulter, sidestepped the officers, and attempted to move closer to Coulter. He was then pushed off stage and told to leave. Not satisfied and increasingly rebellious, he attempted to walk around the officer to proceed back into the auditorium. This is when he was considered threatening, detained as such, removed from the building and arrested.
I feel like I’m the only one who sees the complete disregard for authority. Tracey says he was passive and told security he just had a question.
If someone unauthorized starts approaching the person you’ve been hired to protect, just ask, “Are you going to do anything bad?” If the person says yes, then you should assume the person is a threat. Otherwise, people should be let through.
If Tracey had listened to the officer the first time, he wouldn’t be in his current situation.
It was during his arrest that the blame shifts from Tracey to police. Tracey accuses them of showing disregard for his personal effects, like his glasses, and his physical well-being. He also accuses them of calling him vulgar names throughout his detainment.
If it comes to light these accusations are true, it is an embarrassment to our campus. Why is it so difficult for police to exert authority professionally? We know Tracey disrespected the authorities, but that doesn’t mean the authorities have to disrespect him in return. The College community asks us why we don’t respect the police like we should. Perhaps this is an illustration of why.
I am a liberal, but I also believe in orderly conduct and respect for authority. It is clear that Tracey does not. It’s ironic Tracey has painted himself as the victim after a Republican lecture on how liberals tend to make themselves into victims for gain. Tracey doesn’t think he did anything wrong and wants to use the police conduct to get the disorderly conduct charge dropped.
This situation has brought to light that there are students who believe that they don’t have to listen to authority and that there are authority figures who don’t believe that students deserve their professionalism and respect. Any progress that could be made into enforcing professionalism in our police will be dampened by Tracey’s insubordination. Moreover, his accusations enforce the notion that police don’t deserve respect. Tracey calls for the accountability of those involved. I say look in the mirror.