MPD Notes

I’m sitting in a cafe finishing a paper, and I just had a really interesting conversation about Iraq with an off-duty Middletown Police officer who had been in the army. As he was leaving, he asked me
“Just out of curiosity, why is it that every time I have to come up to Wesleyan on a call I’ve got fifteen kids screaming at me asking for probable cause? I’ve got beyond a reasonable suspicion, I’ve got beyond probable cause, I most likely have eye-witnesses attesting to you fucking up, yet as soon as I get there I’ve got fifteen kids whipping out their cameraphones asking me for probable cause as I’m trying to get some kid into the cruiser. I ask “What are you, a fucking lawyer?” and the kid replies “Yeah!” to which I retort “You’d better show me your Bar card in the next 30 seconds or I’m booking you for impersonating an attorney.” Sometimes I wish Wesleyan was a closed campus. It would make my job a whole hell of a lot easier.”
I think the place of college in American society is largely that of a last gasp: you transgress whatever social taboos you feel comfortable transgressing that you haven’t up until that point, and at the end of it you go off to 5 or 6 figure jobs. Because of this, a whole lot of libertinism prevails, and this isn’t altogether unhealthy. But when people forget that they’re doing all of this in a residential context both with other students and with law-abiding locals, they’re apt to also forget that Discretion Is The Better Part of Valor and be stupid, drunk juvenile civic disruptions. (Just think of Beta on a friday night, freshmen puking in the bushes, singing along to Skynyrd at full volume. I don’t think many of us have a problem with being stupid, drunk or transressive, but when this becomes everyone’s problem, it sucks.) I think MPD cuts Wesleyan students a certain amount of slack, but students’ feeling of entitlement to public unlawful behavior grates after a while and discourages any looking-the-other-way. Be courteous to your law enforcement officers, and strive to not give them any reasons for coming to campus. Chances are they don’t want to be there.

(Do I believe this?)

66 thoughts on “MPD Notes

  1. Anonymous

    i agree that wesleyan students too often feel entitled to break the law and that it is annoying and disrepectful. word. one thing, though, that i think you could consider more carefully is that depending on who the student is, they may have a very different perception of/relationship to the police as a social institution, and understandably so. i especially mean students of color, who may be racially profiled by the police or feel vulnerable to being profiled, in a way that white students never have to think about.

  2. Anonymous

    i agree that wesleyan students too often feel entitled to break the law and that it is annoying and disrepectful. word. one thing, though, that i think you could consider more carefully is that depending on who the student is, they may have a very different perception of/relationship to the police as a social institution, and understandably so. i especially mean students of color, who may be racially profiled by the police or feel vulnerable to being profiled, in a way that white students never have to think about.

  3. Anonymous

    Yeah, except that impersonating an attorney isn’t a crime, unless you start a commercial practice. He may be awesome, but intimidation tactics are as annoying as bratty students.

  4. Anonymous

    Yeah, except that impersonating an attorney isn’t a crime, unless you start a commercial practice. He may be awesome, but intimidation tactics are as annoying as bratty students.

  5. Anonymous

    Yeah, except that impersonating an attorney isn’t a crime, unless you start a commercial practice. He may be awesome, but intimidation tactics are as annoying as bratty students.

  6. Anonymous

    Braille: Awesome post. And no, I’m not going to blame Beta because that wasn’t the point.That officer sounds fucking awesome.

  7. Anonymous

    Braille: Awesome post. And no, I’m not going to blame Beta because that wasn’t the point.That officer sounds fucking awesome.

  8. Anonymous

    Braille: Awesome post. And no, I’m not going to blame Beta because that wasn’t the point.
    That officer sounds fucking awesome.

  9. Braille

    dear 8:41 whether we should reform drug laws is an entirely different question from asking whether MPD is justified enforcing the legal framework they’re required to operate within. Conscientious objection is (unfortunately) not a recognized exemption to discharging your duty as an officer of the law. That’s what jury nullification and legislative action a la NORML are for, but I don’t see many wesleyan students actively gunning for legalization in CT. in one sense, the statement “you don’t just arrest someone for a little pot” should be entirely justified when directed at the body of laws which necessitate such behavior, but unjustified if directed at the arresting officer hirself. whatever.

  10. Braille

    dear 8:41 whether we should reform drug laws is an entirely different question from asking whether MPD is justified enforcing the legal framework they’re required to operate within. Conscientious objection is (unfortunately) not a recognized exemption to discharging your duty as an officer of the law. That’s what jury nullification and legislative action a la NORML are for, but I don’t see many wesleyan students actively gunning for legalization in CT. in one sense, the statement “you don’t just arrest someone for a little pot” should be entirely justified when directed at the body of laws which necessitate such behavior, but unjustified if directed at the arresting officer hirself. whatever.

  11. Braille

    dear 8:41 whether we should reform drug laws is an entirely different question from asking whether MPD is justified enforcing the legal framework they’re required to operate within. Conscientious objection is (unfortunately) not a recognized exemption to discharging your duty as an officer of the law. That’s what jury nullification and legislative action a la NORML are for, but I don’t see many wesleyan students actively gunning for legalization in CT. in one sense, the statement “you don’t just arrest someone for a little pot” should be entirely justified when directed at the body of laws which necessitate such behavior, but unjustified if directed at the arresting officer hirself.

    whatever.

  12. Anonymous

    Yes! I was SO pissed off when that kid who got arrested with pot was quoted in the argus saying “You don’t just arrest someone for a little pot”.

  13. Anonymous

    Yes! I was SO pissed off when that kid who got arrested with pot was quoted in the argus saying “You don’t just arrest someone for a little pot”.

  14. Anonymous

    Yes! I was SO pissed off when that kid who got arrested with pot was quoted in the argus saying “You don’t just arrest someone for a little pot”.

  15. Braille

    It wasn’t my intention to say that beta is the source of all MPD campus ills. It just provided a particularly salient example, at least to me, as its essentially right outside my window and whenever MPD descends on it I get an eyeful of the spectacle.

  16. Braille

    It wasn’t my intention to say that beta is the source of all MPD campus ills. It just provided a particularly salient example, at least to me, as its essentially right outside my window and whenever MPD descends on it I get an eyeful of the spectacle.

  17. Braille

    It wasn’t my intention to say that beta is the source of all MPD campus ills. It just provided a particularly salient example, at least to me, as its essentially right outside my window and whenever MPD descends on it I get an eyeful of the spectacle.

  18. Anonymous

    OH PLEASE don’t blame it all on beta, thats just ridiculous. Its not only beta that tells middletown police they have no right being where they are. Get over it and stop using generalizations to clear the general campus of guilt.

  19. Anonymous

    OH PLEASE don’t blame it all on beta, thats just ridiculous. Its not only beta that tells middletown police they have no right being where they are. Get over it and stop using generalizations to clear the general campus of guilt.

  20. Anonymous

    OH PLEASE don’t blame it all on beta, thats just ridiculous. Its not only beta that tells middletown police they have no right being where they are. Get over it and stop using generalizations to clear the general campus of guilt.

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