Dartmouth University Security Brutality | MassCops

Dartmouth University Security Brutality

Discussion in 'New Hampshire' started by fscpd907, May 1, 2009.

  1. fscpd907

    fscpd907 Subscribing Member

    Police and Campus
    Security Brutality

    by Bishnu K. Panigrahi


    [​IMG] magine seeing your friend’s head “repeatedly smashed into the floor.” Imagine your friend not being “offered any medical attention” after the incident. This is not a fictitious story, unfortunately. This seemingly unthinkable scenario recently occurred at Colby College, where student Liz Beltran witnessed campus security officers brutally assault two of her friends.

    On April 12, 2009, after a party at the Colby Student Center, Ozzie Ramirez and his friend, Jacob Roundtree, were brutally attacked by Waterville policemen and campus security officers. Ramirez had allegedly interfered with the EMT’s attempts to aid an intoxicated student, and Roundtree had simply tried to approach security officers. After the incident, the two intoxicated students—both of whom are racial minorities—were arrested for assault and criminal trespass.

    Now, you can say that interfering with the EMT’s efforts to help a student is a crime, and as such the students should be punished accordingly. But the brutal response from policemen and security officers was an obvious overreaction. Slamming Ramirez’s head against the floor and spraying mace at Roundtree—who already had at least two officers literally on top of him—are not effective means of controlling a situation. A short video is available online documenting the atrocities, if you have the stomach for it:

    Excessive Force Used in the Unjustified Arrest of Colby College Students - iReport - Truveo Video Search.

    This case of police brutality is an utter embarrassment for both Colby College and the police, considering that campus security and the police force are institutions that are supposed to protect citizens, not mercilessly attack them. The irresponsible so-called “law-enforcers” completely misjudged a situation and used excessive force on defenseless students. Some witnesses stated that the student surrounded by the EMT’s was conscious and simply sleeping, which is a possible explanation for Ramirez’s actions. Regardless of his motivations, however, the vicious beating he endured is certainly out of proportion to any crime he may have committed.

    Probably in an effort to devalue the severity of their brutality, Police Chief Joseph Massey tried to emphasize the fact that the victims were intoxicated. “I hope some of [the Colby students’] criticisms of police and security is not their way of taking the focus off the real issue, which is alcohol,” he said. However, the reality is that alcohol is a completely separate issue; both of the victims are above the drinking age, and whether or not they should have been drinking does not justify the actions taken by the police. Further, even if the students were so intoxicated that they could not control themselves, the officer’s actions would still have been gratuitous. Spraying mace at a student who is already immobilized is inarguably brutal.

    The truth of the matter is that the police ruthlessly attacked two college students. Obviously, Officer Massey is trying to downplay this simple fact, as he sincerely stated on local television that the police officers at the scene “acted professionally.” Massey must be either completely oblivious to the reality of the situation or needs to learn the difference between law-enforcement and brutality.

    Naturally, Colby students are outraged, so much so that a new campus organization, Colby United, was conceived. Two days after the incident there was a campus demonstration during which the witnesses of the incident gave their accounts of what happened. All who spoke seemed to be in disbelief; seeing a friend, or even a stranger, being attacked is certainly not something that anyone should have to witness. One witness even claimed that she had heard a policeman tell a security guard that he would have used a Taser stun gun on Roundtree had there not been so many people in the area at the time,. The President of the College, William D. Adams, addressed the students during the demonstration, but neither he nor any member of the college administration offered an apology on behalf of the officers. The administration has only revealed that there is an ambiguous “investigation” being conducted.

    Brianna Lind, a student at Colby, explained her frustration with the administration’s lack of initiative and the speed at which the investigation is proceeding. She asked, “How many eye witnesses do you really need to convince others that the officers took inappropriate measures that night?”

    She explained how exasperating it is “to see how the media is one-dimensionally portraying Colby students as high on their horse, and rich and snobby people.” Despite the press’ portrayal, hundreds of Colby students are taking some sort of action; it’s pretty obvious that most students are heavily invested in making sure the officers are held accountable.

    Whether or not the victims actually physically abused the EMTs and officers in the first place is also disputed. Susie Hufstader, the interim leader of Amnesty International at Colby, explains that “Several student witnesses have come forward to say that the actions taken by Security officers and the police…were not provoked by violence.”

    The fact that the students were arrested for assault and criminal trespass lends an ironic twist to the whole situation. First, if there were any people “assaulted” that night, they were Ramirez and Roundtree. Second, as a Colby student mentioned in a campus forum on April 15, how were the Colby College students charged with criminal trespass at the Colby College Student Center? Does that mean that everyone else walking back to their dorm rooms that night should be charged with criminal trespass as well?

    Some can argue that the security and police officers were just doing their jobs. However, if this were true, then the officers were not trained properly, and the administration and police department should take steps in retraining their officers and should discipline those involved in the incident.

    After the attack, the campus security officers involved had their shifts changed. Also, each Colby security guard now has a recording device at all times; the officer can turn it on whenever necessary. If there are any future altercations, this plan can hopefully clarify any unclear situations. We cannot let these attacks slide by. The vicious violence could have been racially motivated, considering that it seems all of the officers present were white while the victims were racial minorities. Though nothing can be done to reverse the events of April 12th, we can make sure that these injustices are not repeated. Student activism is burgeoning on the Colby campus, and as this story gets more attention, more people want answers.

    The Colby administration and Waterville Police department must apologize for this particular incident. These egregious acts should remind us that police brutality on college campuses can happen, even somewhere as remote as Waterville, within the “Colby bubble.” Just because a college environment is relatively safe does not mean that standards should be relaxed. A full investigation should be conducted rapidly to ensure that these brutal actions are not repeated, both at Colby and at other college campuses.
     
  2. Johnny Law

    Johnny Law Nemo me impune lacessit Staff Member

  3. Sam1974

    Sam1974 MassCops Member

    hahahah you read my mind!
     
  4. Kilvinsky

    Kilvinsky I think, therefore I'll never be promoted.

    For what it's worth, I'm sending this to the paper. It no doubt will NOT get published, but I feel better having vented, damn bastard kid. :stomp:

    I just read the story from your paper entitled, “Security Brutality” from last May.
    Though the story is over a year old, but I didn’t see it until just now, a year later. Sure, it’s not really relevant now, but I feel this is an issue that comes up all too often and the views expressed by the writer, Mr. Panigrahi are common views which I feel are misguided and are expressed in a story which is clearly very biased.

    I read the first part of the story then I watched the video, I did NOT read the rest of the fairytale it accompanies. I know I came to this story late, but I'm damned angry over it.

    First, The United States Supreme Court has ruled that no one is allowed to resist a lawful arrest. I didn't see anyone's head hitting any floor in that rather poor video; blood, yes, but no brutality.

    Second, anyone, ANYONE who does not see that those two are RESISTING the officers is either in total denial or blinded by anti-law enforcement bias, or just stupid. You can clearly see the guy in the background is kicking his legs.

    Third, the MORON who keeps saying, "He's not going to go anywhere. Where's he going to go?" Ah, can she really back that up? Is she that stupid to believe this kid will just get up and say, "Ok, officers, you got me." No, I would guess he'd run or maybe even look for a little 'catch up' with the officers.

    Fourth, the EMT's were trying to HELP an “intoxicated student” and the other students didn't step in to stop these pieces of crap from interfering? Then shame on thier pathetic rear ends. They give more of a damn about two punks who cause a problem then someone who NEEDS HELP. When MY daughter goes to college, I pray to GOD she doesn't end up with simpletons for roommates like these misguided people.

    Fifth, "...not effective means of controlling a situation.” I find that an interesting statement. Hey, Mr. Panigrahi, have you ever once in your life tried to control a person who did not want to be controlled? Do you have any clue what-so-ever how strong a person is and that, believe it not, sometimes TWO people just can't do it. I know you think life is like TV and if a cop says, "STOP" the bad guy puts his hands behind his back and it's all over. Life is NOT like that and only a naive out of touch person would believe it. Your lack of experience does NOT give you the expertise to judge what is and what is NOT an effective means of controlling someone that does NOT want to be controlled.

    I have no doubt that the blood on the floor is from the suspect’s nose, nose bleeds happen, especially if you're resisting arrest. It's not pleasant and no cop wants blood on him, and honestly, no matter what you choose to believe, they aren't out to hurt people, but you cannot let punk kids who get in the way of a professional person trying to lend aid to a sick or injured person get in the way and keep you from doing your job, ESPECIALLY IF THAT PUNK IS DRUNK. If these two twits couldn't understand that, they should have been locked up. I'm sure as soon as it was possible, the EMTs even helped these two out, though if they had simply turned their back, I for one would not have blamed them one bit. They showed immaturity and frankly have no business being in college. A school for kids with emotional issues might be better suited for them, or jail.
     
  5. Kilvinsky

    Kilvinsky I think, therefore I'll never be promoted.

    Update, I didn't 'submit it' per se, but I did e-mail it with an addition at the bottom and top. I'm waiting for a reply. With school out, who knows if/when I'll get one.

    This at the top:
    To the Editors of the Dartmouth Free Press,
    My apologies for the length of this correspondence. Believe it or not, the original was a bit longer. I actually managed to trim some of it off before I copied it to e-mail.

    This at the bottom:To conclude, yes, as you may have guessed I’m a Police Officer. I work at a college campus in Massachusetts. I like to think I’m fair and decent and I don’t get my jollies locking students up and the last thing I want is a violent clash with ANYONE. I’m the norm, not the exception. We have a job to do and we want to get through a shift like anyone else. But when someone does something wrong and doesn’t cooperate, THAT person takes it to the next level, not the officer. Just think, if those two hadn’t interfered with the EMT or when told to leave, had just left, nothing would have happened. You have to admit that. If you can’t, well, that’s just sad.
     

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