October 22, 2004

UMD Arrest Stories

Here is some more reportage on the UMass Dartmouth ALCS-night incident

[Update: Added a reference to the Torch. I haven’t had a chance to read the whole thing yet, but it should provide some interesting details. I’m bumping this story to the top, as the Torch is a much more in-depth story.]

The Herald Report says:

The overzealous celebration Wednesday night followed similar acts that occurred Tuesday night. Hoey said 19 students were given an interim suspension after Tuesday night’s Game 6 win. The students have been removed from their classes and on-campus living. Those students will be entitled to a hearing, he added. He said similar actions will likely be taken against the students arrested Wednesday night.

20 were arrested, and the fellow I know has not been given an interim suspension. He has been kicked out of housing, but he is still allowed to attend classes. So perhaps he is the one out of the 20. He was also not charged with disorderly conduct, so that probably has something to do with it.

I don’t have sympathy for people who overturn a car or dumpster, and people who destroy windows and light posts. But I’m getting info from reliable sources that things are not nearly as clear as these stories make them out to be.

We’re talking about a group of students in the middle of the dorms. How do you distinguish between students celebrating, students hanging around, students who are about to take part in malicious mischief and students just passing through to get to the dorms? The answer appears to be “use the dogs and pepper balls and let God sort them out.” Further, I’m hearing that the police were blocking access to the newer dorm buildings. The students were surrounded, some with nowhere to go.

If the order to disperse had been clearly given, why am I hearing from reliable people that they never heard such an order, nor did they see police with megaphones? Sure, when the police order you to disperse, you know what’s about to come next and you get the heck out of there. But what if there was no dispersal order effectively given? What if, in your effort to get out of the area, you run smack into a truncheon or attack dog? What if you’re blocked from your dorm, or your dorm is locked down?

I wasn’t there, but I’m talking to people who were there and it’s not coinciding with what the papers are reporting.

Update 12:17 PM

The Torch story has filled in some holes. I can’t help but sympathize somewhat with the police, here, though I don’t think their approach is working. It’s clear that these riot are going to happen, and the idea that they would not have happened at all without police intervention is disputed by history.

The police may have exacerbated the riot in their attempts to control it. Quickly, a chaotic situation developed where troublemaker and innocent alike were embroiled.

As others have said, it’s too bad this has to taint an historic Red Sox victory. The fault falls squarely on the numbskulls who would use any occasion as an excuse to engage in property-damaging activities. And in a group of easily-incited college students (remember being a college student?) this is a recipe for disaster.

Posted by James at October 22, 2004 12:09 PM
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disclaimer-I can't refresh the comments on your last post for some reason so I have no idea of how people responded.

I have no doubt that the vast majority of people at the celebration/riot/armageddon were just having fun however once the trouble started the police in riot gear are going to have an awefully hard time telling who did what. Also in a crowd full of screaming people it would not surprise me at all that everybody didn't hear orders to disperse.

I think at that point you have two choices as a cop. Let the riot continue unimpeded or start arresting anyone who might be causing problems and let the courts decide if they were guilty. After all anyone who was arrested will have their day in court and unless there is hard evidence that they did something wrong they are going to be let off with a slap on the wrist and a warning. What the school chooses to do is of course their decision but I imaging they feel that the threat of loosing your houseing just might help keep things in control in the future.

Again I'll reiterate that if your so much of a follower that your idea of celebrating is becoming part of a mob AND you're too stupid to hit the road when the vandalism starts and the police arrive I have very little sympathy for you.

I wouldn't want to be the sic guys pictured in the Globe rolling a Jetta though. I think that can be considered hard evidence.

Posted by: B.O.B.(bob) at October 22, 2004 12:57 PM

I have an additional interest in this story because a friend's brother (an acquaintance) was arrested because of it.

The paper talks mostly about the events of Tuesday. The Wednesday incident almost seems like the police keyed up after the previous night and reacted a little more forcefully without the warnings on previous nights.

I will keep talking to people. So far I see a lot of potential for innocents getting hurt with the approach the police are taking.

I guess we'll have opportunity to see if people just try to stay out of open areas during sporting events.

Posted by: James at October 22, 2004 3:37 PM

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