Transcription of the recorded statements of Pat Dickerson and Mike Hale conducted by the Commission on KSU Violence.
[Pat Dickerson]: Pat Dickerson, 1630 Easton Street Northwest, North Canton, Ohio, 499-3212.
I was up on top of Johnson Hall and I watched everything, and the students deserved to get beat over the head with a club or something like that, but they didn’t deserve to get–be shot ‘cause they didn’t have any guns or anything. And I didn’t hear any shots before the Guardmen fired and I would’ve heard it if there were any because I was so close. And well I guess that’s all I have to say.
[Mike Hale]: My name is Mike Hale. My address is 9937 Sheryl Road, New Carlisle, Ohio. My telephone number is 845-8539. On that day of May 4th, I was looking out from my dorm window with a pair of binoculars into the area of the mishap. I feel when the Guard was down on the practice field, they were being pelted with stones and the tear gas that they were launching was being returned by the students. Then the Guard kneeled down once with an aiming position and rose again. The students then backed away when the Guard marched with bayonets drawn, back up toward Taylor Hall, going from East to West. Once on the hill, I glanced down at the crowd around Taylor Hall. I noticed the Guard had stopped at the top of the hill and had turned around and about 200 people, rock throwing bums the way I feel it, started pelting the Guards with bricks and anything they could get ahold of. And I feel from the standpoint–from looking from where I was–and the Guards, sure, they were out of tear gas–they were being almost surrounded by this mob. They had almost no recall but to shoot. It is too bad and it’s pitiful that maybe some people that were going to class were hit, but I had a class at that time and I did not go to it. I did not even walk through the area. I had enough sense not to even get involved in the stuff.
I’m in Army ROTC [Reserve Officers’ Training Corps] and I’m upset about the building that was burnt down. I had deep felt sympathy for it. I think I would have been out helping the Guard. I think what should be done, or what should have been done in the first place, is that these people that were causing all this trouble should have been rounded up by the police and the Guard, and taken to the football field and kept there, surrounded with guards, called the parents of these rabble rousers and kicked them off the campus. Then KSU [Kent State University] could have stayed open. But no, they closed it down. Therefore, they’ve hurt me, they’ve hurt my roommate, and everybody else who wants to get a college education.
Now, what I think also could be solved to stop this at KSU [Kent State University] or any other college institution is to use a type of student marshal, but then–to preserve the peace. But then, if you do this, it’s for some reason–it’s not the student. The student does not come here to try to keep the peace, he comes here for the education. And that’s the only thing we’re here for. We’re not here for–to demonstrate. We’re here for an education. Period. I think it’s about time that our society should get rid of these rabble rousers that are destroying the freedom in this country for me to go to school or any other individual. I think that’s what it’s coming down to, and I’m almost worried. My dad’s an ex-military man. He’s a retired Colonel from the Air Force. And I believe that what might happen is if this keeps up, a police state could be–could come along. And then it could deny your freedom or anybody else, and I just don’t think it’s right. I think what has to be done is people have–the silent majority has to start putting their foot down and stopping these people. I think before I conclude, the only thing I can say–it’s too bad–I’m hurt that four people are dead, I think just like anybody else. I think this could have been stopped if people would have used their heads and rounded up these people. Even the bystanders because a bystander’s just as involved. And as far as anybody getting hit that was up there, I don’t feel anything for them. I feel for the people that were killed. True. I think in the next year here at Kent or any other school, I think what’s gonna have to be done if any of this happens–any violence–I’m for demonstrations–peace. As Nixon said, and I quote, “Violence breeds violence,” and that’s so true. The Guard that was brought on this campus Saturday night came because of violence. It came because the Army ROTC building was burnt down. And where was the Kent police at the time? The campus police. They weren’t there. I’d just like to conclude, and I hope Kent returns to normalcy, and if any of this does happen, I hope the University has enough intuition to surround these people and throw them off campus. Call their parents or expel them. They should not be here on a college campus. This is not a battlefield, it’s an institution for higher learning. Thank you very much. ×