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Feb-20-2009 10:41TweetFollow @OregonNews
New Jersey Police Take Student Down Over Question Posed to Ann CoulterCody Sheets Salem-News.com
The student has seen no legal or college disciplinary action, and although he is politically active, has never been known to stage a violent protest.
(SALEM, Ore.) - Mike Tracey, a student at the College of New Jersey, attended an Ann Coulter lecture on Wednesday, February 18, and spoke out against what he calls an unfair and inappropriate arrest.
He claims that after Ann Coulter had finished her question and answer session, he attempted to ask her the same question he had asked during the forum.
"Since you said Democrats are sympathetic to terrorists because the president has Hussein as a middle name, are you saying that all people with Muslim sounding names are sympathetic to terrorists?" Mike Tracey asked.
Ann Coulter replied, "You can't possibly be that stupid."
She then avoided his question, and went on to finish the session.
Once she began to do book signings, Tracey went to ask her the question again, but was stopped by an officer.
Not to be deterred from getting an answer, Tracey avoided the officer and went to Mrs. Coulter's table, where she "jumped back in shock."
"Evidently, Mrs. Coulter expected something serious," Tracey wrote in his blog.
Tracey began to ask the question again, but he says, three words later, he found himself on the ground.
Officers had tackled him, and restrained him with what he calls excessive force.
"I had bruises but I didn't use any violence at all." He said. "They never even read me my Miranda rights, but they arrested me and charged me."
Assuming his statements are true, it would seem that not only is the case invalid, but there are some serious questions that need to be answered about just what New Jersey officers are calling an appropriate response.
When asked for a quote on the situation, the campus security office refused to give a comment.
Or, actually, Officer 76 refused to comment. We gave this officer this name because he not only refused to give a comment, but actually refused to give his name.
And when asked for his badge number, he mumbled the "number 76."
Officer 76 is not alone in his refusal to comment. The president's office at the university also declined to comment, as did the officer who made the arrest.
But Tracey is not refusing to comment, and neither are his 234 face book supporters.
If there are doubts as to how he expects those concerned to respond to the situation, he says this: "I ask that everyone supportive of me please refrain from making this into a partisan political issue. Victims of physical and verbal abuse do not know an ideology. They know only that they have been wronged and degraded. I hope my conservative and Republican friends, of whom I have many, will take just as forceful a stand on this issue as would anyone of any other political persuasion."
Matthew Golden, the Executive Director of Public Relations and Communications for the campus commented on the situation.
"Unfortunately, we have an incident where one individual behaved in a manner that was not appropriate. He was directed to cease his behavior, and directed to leave the facility. He did not comply and unfortunately after continuing the behavior, had to be restrained and eventually was arrested. He was released and informed that he would get a citation." He said.
Golden also said that he did not witness the event happen, but after speaking with the campus police and the arresting officer, he concluded that only enough force to solve the problem was used.
"It was the absolute minimum for what the situation called for, is my understanding." He said.
"As this incident goes through both judicial and campus judicial systems, we will make assessments as to his disciplinary action. But to speculate on what will happen at this point really isn't useful to anyone," Golden said.
But Tracey says otherwise. And the information seems to give his argument some credence.
Tracey has never been convicted of a crime, has never faced campus disciplinary action, and although he is politically active, has never been known to stage a violent protest.
Therefore, there are those not buying the story of minimal force.
But for now, until more questions can be answered, all we have is the evidence from one side.
And with the police playing the silent game, we can only imagine what answers will come out through investigation, and what questions will still be left unanswered.
For more information, or to view the original information as told by Mike Tracey himself, visit: dailykos.com/story/2009/2/19/155659/800/272/699418
Photos of Tracey's injuries are on this page, below the video screen.
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