Facing each other in a circle of chairs at the University Religious Center, several dozen students, residents, university officials and local law enforcement officers discussed causes and effects of violence in Isla Vista at a Tuesday night town hall meeting.
Allison Jones, mother of Bradley Jones, a Santa Barbara City College student who died after being assaulted in I.V. last February, sat among I.V. Foot Patrol Lt. Tom McKinny, UCSB Chancellor Henry Yang, SBCC President John Romo and other officials who answered questions regarding public safety. Audience members questioned IVFP response time, the role of alcohol in contributing to I.V. violence and to what extent students or out-of-town visitors are responsible for the majority of misbehavior.
Law enforcement officials talked about what action students and residents should take if they are in danger or see trouble brewing. They also recommended residents keep parties smaller and under control by only allowing invited guests.
During the meeting, Allison Jones, frequently wiping away tears, directed several questions to McKinny regarding police tactics and problems caused in I.V. by out-of-town visitors, saying that police should do more to regulate who comes into the town and to keep an eye on known trouble spots.
She displayed a binder with two large pictures of Bradley to the audience. Bradley Jones died March 2 after an assailant allegedly punched him in the face and knocked him backward. He hit his head on the pavement and later slipped into a coma from which he did not awake.
“I felt like for Brad I needed to be here,” Allison Jones said. “My son had a face.”
McKinny said that since becoming IVFP lieutenant in 2002, he has noticed violent assaults in I.V. are occurring with much greater frequency and severity than they did when he was a foot patrol officer from 1983 to 1986. He also said he believes I.V.