North Pleasant/Fearing Street 2:30 pm. Have to wonder what his mother would think
The recent pumpkin fest mayhem in Keene, N.H. certainly demonstrated Amherst is not the only college town where student parties can merge into one giant blowout.
Keene State College 10/18/14 (Seth Meyer photo)
Although I do notice a lot less hand wringing over the actions of N.H. local and state police -- almost all of them in full riot gear -- using tear gas, O.C. spray, dogs, sponge bullets and a helicopter to restore order.
There were some striking similarities between the two disturbances: both were caused by college aged white kids with no social justice goal in mind, other than the infamous "right to party."
And in both cases public safety personnel were caught off guard (despite plenty of advance warning signs) by the sheer magnitude of the events, especially how early in the day the trouble started.
In Amherst, heavily outnumbered police managed to bring the crowds under control by 3:00 pm with no real injuries. The final confrontation took place near North Pleasant and Fearing Streets at the "gateway" to UMass, almost contiguous with the outskirts of Amherst downtown.
New Hampshire authorities were trying desperately to keep the marauding students away from the heavily promoted, family oriented pumpkin festival in city center, although their riotous behavior got even worse after darkness fell.
North Pleasant Street, high noon: Dead stop. PVTA buses cancelled.
I have been a strong supporter of the police response that day simply because I was there and saw first hand why chemical munitions were needed. Now we have further proof, in the form of video shot that day by a UMPD officer, who was hit by flying debris well before the pepper balls starting flying.
Responding to my Freedom Of Information request UMPD gave me a digital folder containing all the video shot that day: 59 MPG clips ranging in duration from 3 seconds to 3 minutes. Most of them pretty useless.
The filming didn't start until after the rowdy crowds had been dispersed in the North Amherst Brandwine and Puffton Village Apartments area, but they do capture the major confrontation near the Pike Frat House, 374 North Pleasant Street on the corner of Fearing Street where the crowd of students was estimated at 2,000.
The $160,000 Davis Report seems to question, in general, the use of chemical munitions and more specifically if the crowd was given enough time after the "order to disperse" had been given. If you watch the two almost contiguous videos the total time from the moment the dispersal order was given until the first pepper ball fired is 30 seconds.
Two seconds after a large bottle of alcohol (not empty) exploded at their feet, well within striking distance of APD Chief Livingstone (who was not wearing protective gear), police opened fire with pepper ball guns.
Also note that the total number of surrounded police is less than 10, so they were outnumbered by way more than 100-1.
According to North Western District Attorney spokesperson Mary Carey this morning, all but one of the 58 arrested have completed their journey through the justice system. No one received a jail sentence.
Maye he was too drunk to hear the dispersal order?
Nitwit holding Barstool Sports banner. Website that revels in juvenile behavior (with a special fondness for UMass bad behavior)
Taken after the original confrontation in North Amherst, but before the major confrontation at Pike Frat on North Pleasant/Fearing Street