Tariq Khan is a junior at George Mason University in Virginia. An Air Force veteran at 27, he has strong views about the Iraq War and about military recruitment on campus.
On September 29, when he saw Marine recruiters had set up a table in the Johnson Center on campus, Khan decided to stand nearby. "I got out an 8 1/2-by-11 piece of paper, which I had written on: 'Recruiters Lie. Don't Be Deceived.' And I taped it to my chest," Khan says. "I was standing about four feet from the Marine recruiting table. I wasn't blocking access or anything."
Khan says that someone from the Johnson Center staff came up to him and told him he couldn't be there.
"He kept telling me that I had to have a permit to table," Khan says. "But I told him I wasn't tabling. I don't need a permit just to stand there."
Then Khan says a student came by, took a pamphlet, ripped it up, threw it in his face, and left. The student returned with another person, who said he was in the Marines and was just back from Iraq.
They started to hassle Khan, calling him "a pussy and a coward," he recalls. "The guy who said he was in the Marines rips the sign off my chest. I said, 'Thanks for defending my freedom of speech.' So I took out another piece of paper and started to make a new sign."
Soon a campus police officer, Theodore Reynolds, showed up, Khan says.
When Khan wouldn't leave, he says Officer Reynolds threw him down and handcuffed him. Khan says that some of the students nearby were egging the police officer on, yelling, "Kick his ass! Kick his ass!"
Officer Reynolds did not return three phone calls for comment. Campus Police...