The Complete Evergreen Story episode 17: Community Policing

It has been a few months since I wrote about Benjamin Boyce’s ongoing series about the meltdown at Evergreen State College in the spring of 2017. I left off with episode 14 which was focused on Black Lives Matter and how a 2015 police shooting set the stage for some of what happened at the school a couple of years later. That’s actually a perfect jumping off point for this latest video which focuses on a community police review board where students were invited to come and share their opinions about campus police. As Boyce points out, it’s not really fair to say students took over this meeting since it was open to them, but their concerns were the primary topic discussed.

Boyce lets the video of the meeting run for several minutes as protesters discuss “Community Love” and the fact that their protests at Evergreen have gone viral and, as a result, they have eyes from around the nation on them. There’s even a bit of self-criticism here as students recognize that taking over the administration building the previous day based on a rumor that the police were coming was an overreaction.

Eventually, the chair of the review board opened the meeting to student comments and it quickly becomes clear that what the protesters wanted is for the police to go away. As one student put it, “no more cops in our communities. That’s all.” Another student said, “We don’t want the cops to have guns at all. Like, forget rifles, like—no guns. And, like, forget weapons, we don’t even want the cops to be here.” “We can control our own community, I think,” he added.

At this point the video runs on for several more minutes with a faculty member telling the students she agrees with them and describing how she helped shut down another campus during a protest. Progressives love the sound of their own voices.

Just as I was beginning to wonder where this episode was going, it suddenly became clear. Having claimed that the community could police itself, suddenly we see an example of what that community policing would look like. A student gets up and claims that another student who is filming the meeting has made Islamophobic comments in the past. “As a Muslim man, I’m afraid to be in this room with you right now,” the accuser said. Another student asks that the video the accused student has been shooting be deleted.

“Listen up, this is uh—this is an opportunity for community policing. Like, why are we in this room? Okay? So I want the people next to him to watch him delete every photo that he’s taken of this space,” one of the protesters said.

As more students demand the person recording delete his video, he says he intends to leave. Students ask to be shown the videos he has taken, presumably to screen them for offensive content, before he can leave. He asks why he’s not allowed to film an open forum and no one seems to have an answer to that question.

Eventually another student suggested the student who was filming is perpetuating white supremacy by making everything about himself. Of course, he didn’t make himself the issue, the protesters did.

So in the meeting where student protesters claimed they could police themselves, we get a clear example of how that would work: Far left students accusing someone of Islamophobia and malicious intent (with no evidence of either) and on that basis demanding he self-censor his right to film an open student meeting. There’s even a hint they may not let him leave until he complies, though it appears he eventually does leave.

It’s exactly the sort of community policing I’d expect from the protesters. They would be quick to abridge other people’s rights if they were given any real power.