Town Manager Musante and UMass Chancellor Subbaswamy looking glum
While there's not a single "recommendation" made by Mr. Davis in his 65 page, $160,000 report -- especially increased APD staffing -- that I oppose, there's one sentiment I strongly disagree with: police used too much "force" breaking up the unruly crowds and by donning riot gear in the face of incoming rocks, bottles and cans, officers incited the mob to further violence.
Last night's media reports blaming police response
APD Chief Livingstone (left) UMPD Chief Horvath (right)
Both beleaguered police chiefs stood firm in their support of actions taken by vastly outnumbered officers that regrettable day, with UMPD Chief Horvath going so far as to say it would have been "negligent" for officers not to move in to disperse the crowd once things got out of hand -- which occurred before the riot gear appeared.
Print, Television, Digital media in attendance
Despite the last minute notice (3:52 PM yesterday afternoon) the Friday morning press conference was well attended by the media, although only a small percentage of the outlets who carried stories about the Blarney Blowout in the days after the extraordinary event.
Ed Davis (center with yellow tie)
Chief Livingstone (white hat) on scene Fearing & North Pleasant streets March 8, 2:00 PM
With his officers outnumbered 100-1, with their backs to the very outskirts of Amherst town center, and with rocks, bottles and ice chunks starting to rain down on them from above, the police had no choice but to break up the surging unruly crowd.
Yes, by means other than asking "pretty please." Now I fear police will think twice about ever using force again.
Certainly, by all means, let's hope for a better future: