I think it’s ridiculous that there has to be a substantial police presence on a campus because of its student body’s proclivity to violence whenever someone comes their way who might disagree with them.
Since this particular campus student body is given to violence when they’re confronted or challenged intellectually, they have to have police presence. I know that it’s not the job of the police to protect people. It’s to apprehend law-breakers. The police can’t be everywhere at once and ensure everyone’s safety.
In this case, since this particular student body is so violently intolerant of other people’s views, they’re practically begging for the police to be there to at least attempt to keep things in check. If their presence causes protesters to think twice about setting things on fire, bashing in windows, or throwing punches, then that’s a good thing. Of course, if the police are told to allow violence, then their presence doesn’t do anything.
According to one student senator at UC Berkeley, police presence ‘re-traumatizes students who come from communities with complicated relationships to the state.’ Heat St. reported:
On Sunday, a student-run publication, The Daily Californian, published an article about the security measures UC Berkeley and the local police department took after the protest broke out last Thursday following the cancellation of Ann Coulter’s speech. According to the article, almost 300 police officers were present in order to prevent any potential violence.[…]
A student Senator of Associated Students of University of California (ASUC), Juniper Angelica Cordova-Goff took issue with police protecting the campus.
The third-year Berkeley student told the student publication that the police’s “continued, heightened presence re-traumatizes students who come from communities with complicated relationships to the state.”
“I do not think campus safety must rely on the police,” she added. “I think (UCPD) must be active in recognizing the trauma their presence alone brings to some students and work to limit visibility while remaining an open resource to those who choose to use it.”
Earlier this month, after reports emerged claiming Coulter’s speech was cancelled (a decision UC Berkeley later reversed), Cordova-Goff also told the LA Times she was happy Coulter’s speech was cancelled because her speech attacks minority communities such as African-Americans, Latinos and LGBTQ.
She also said the cancellation of Coulter’s speech isn’t an attack on free speech: “I don’t think that anyone’s free speech is being impaired. I think sometimes the free speech amendment is used as a way to frame violent conversations as a matter of free speech.”
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