SMC student Jeff Higley describes a number of incidents at his blog, The Siege Online, of campus police abusing their power and intimidating students, among them Jeff Higgins himself. In his most recent entry, Higley provides video to a recent encounter with SMC PD where they told him he couldn’t record a public event.
During a recent May 18 event, I tried to videotape an Associated Student sponsored performance of “the spoken word” in the public “free speech area” at the Clocktower for some positive coverage to put on The Siege, but SMC officers shut me down. When I redirected my videotaping towards them as I tried to discover the basis for their order, they became hostile and repeatedly threatened me.
The blog Save SMC defends Higley, and also offers a transcript of his videotaped encounter with police. Save SMC is equally critical of recent happenings at Santa Monica College.
Other seemingly peaceful situations that both Higley and Save SMC have written about have resulted in arrests and disciplinary actions that they claim are in direct violations of their rights as students, let alone citizens. I haven’t had the opportunity to review all the charges and seek out counterarguments, but encourage other interested bloggers and readers to look into what appears to be the implosion of what used to be one of the coolest community colleges in the country.
Image from Save SMC.
CORRECTION (7:00PM): I mistakenly identified Jeff Higley as “Jeff Higgins” when I originally posted the above.