Evergreen State College's police chief has resigned after a tumultuous spring semester that featured protesting students who intimidated school officials — including the college president — and in effect took over the campus for brief period.
Stacy Brown had been on the job for less than a year, the News Tribune reported, and was subjected to vile personal attacks — literally from the moment she started.
At Brown's swearing-in ceremony in January, a large group of students showed up, disrupted it and shut it down. Thurston County Chief Deputy Dave Pearsall told Washington state lawmakers what he saw at the ceremony:
“Probably 20 or 30 students ... decided that they were gonna get up in front and take over the entire event with noisemakers and drums and horns and a PA. And they actually went and took one of the microphones out of, I believe it was the vice president’s hand, just jerked it out of her hand. ... They were cursing, saying all kinds of things. It just went on and on. It was complete chaos. It got to the point where, after about 15 minutes ... President [George] Bridges decided that the ceremony wasn’t going to happen. I personally watched some of these students go up to Chief Brown, right up to her face, and call her all kinds of names, cursing at her. As well as, she had her young children with her, who were fearful of what's going on. ... We all cleared the area and let the students basically take over and have whatever they wanted. So the students pretty much ran the show."
The protesters yelled “f*** the police!” and “death to pigs!” at the ceremony as well, according to the school paper, the Cooper Point Journal.
Michael Zimmerman, former provost and vice president for academic affairs at Evergreen State, said the school official who had the microphone yanked from her hand also was pushed and almost knocked down.
"Because of the way the vice president was treated, disciplinary proceedings commenced against the two students who pushed her," Zimmerman said in a Huffington Post piece. "No other student faced disciplinary consequences for the disruption."
In response to her ceremony being disrupted, Brown — a former student at Evergreen State — told the campus newspaper she "never would have imagined" such a thing happening on campus.
"I mean we’re peaceful, right?” she said. "I didn’t see anything like this when I was here—heated discussions, sure, but they were always civil.”
Well, the following week the paper ran a letter attacking Brown titled “F*** Civility!”:
Brown says that she cannot talk to people who don’t want police at all, painting them as unreasonable, which seems par for the course with the school’s dismissal of the fact that policing is a racist and classist oppressive tool used to keep down and imprison the most vulnerable citizens.
Police services and campus police may argue that campus police are here to help students and are less harmful that other policing institutions. However, even campus police are part of an apparatus that criminalizes and enslaves Black people and those who attempt to take action against white supremacy. This is seen in their cooperation with other law enforcement agencies, in addition to the active role that Evergreen police have historically taken in repressing students who attempt to change the status quo and social order…
In their choice of Stacy Brown for campus police chief, Evergreen has given power to another white person that as no understanding of racial issues. Brown, and by extension the school, seems to think the white perspective is the only one worth considering, a perspective that this administration is already full of.
After the May campus protests were in full swing, a cartoon of Brown — scantily clad in Ku Klux Klan garb and in a sexually suggestive pose — was being distributed, the News Tribune reported.
The last straw may have been President Bridges' request that Brown come to campus unarmed so as not to further agitate protesting students. It was a move he regretted.
“I asked Chief Brown to come without her firearm and that was wrong," Bridges told state lawmakers. "And I’ve apologized to her for it."
Before taking the police chief job at Evergreen, Brown offered seemingly prophetic words to the Chronicle: “It’s a completely different style of law enforcement … a completely different culture. I have really been ready for a challenge for a long time.”
(H/T: Hot Air)