Monday, November 10, 2014

Blarney Blowout: Caught On Tape

North Pleasant/Fearing Street 2:30 pm. Have to wonder what his mother would think

The 3/9/13 Blarney Blowout -- with "only" six arrests -- was my Story of the Year for that news filled year, and unless a C5A falls out of the sky and vaporizes our pitifully small downtown commercial district, the Blarney Blowout of 3/8/14 -- with 58 arrests -- will be a repeat winner.

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


Anonymous said...

After seeing these, and the previous videos of the Blowout, it is beyond my comprehension that any reasonable person thinks the police over reacted. Or that they should not have used non-lethal chemical agents, (yes Ed, I know on rare occasions people have died). But the biggest mind blower are those who feel the police should not wear riot gear, that it provokes assaults. Richard Marsh.

Larry Kelley said...

Yes, if you listen carefully you can hear the detonation of glass over on Fearing Street even before the one near the Chief.

The UMPD photographer, like Chief Livingstone, was not wearing riot gear. He got hit again while in front of the Frat house (asking me if I saw who threw the bottle), which is when he put down the camera for good.

Anonymous said...

The fact that you two need to keep defending the cops' actions 8 months later speaks volumes.

Larry Kelley said...

The fact that you're a Cowardly Anon Nitwit speaks even louder.

I put in my Public Documents Request for the videos a day or two after the Davis Report was first released.

UMPD could not give it to me until last week because technically their 3 arrests were still not considered "case closed" until the perps had served their probation.

Anonymous said...

Anon 3:23, what is your opinion, how should the police have handled it... (keeping the FACTS of the matter in mind). Also, just out of curiosity, why do you not sign your name? Richard Marsh

Anonymous said...

It's not how they should have handled it as much as how they shouldn't have handled it. Most people I've talked to, editorials I have read, national and local news pieces on the event, agree with much of the Davis Report's recommendations (including the Chief of Police.) The fact the APD have adopted a new model and philosophy, according to the Chief, says a lot and is in opposition to your novice opinion, Richard. I'm not going to go through the already widely published details of the things they should have done differently, read the report yourself and you tell me why everything they did was appropriate and justified.

And the reason I didn't sign my name is because I watch videos of corrupt and criminal cops on YouTube for hours at a time, I read the news, I hear stories, I see how some abuse their power on a daily basis, how they assault innocent civilians and violate their constitutional rights; I don't know the cops personally involved so I don't want to risk retaliation from the cops, which I can prove happens all the time.

I know, I know, "not our good cops here in Amherst."

Anonymous said...

You're still defending their actions 8 months later, Larry, regardless of when you put in a request for video (which in my opinion doesn't really bolster your case, by the way. Taking away a kids meal card/UMass ID and saying "come see me at the station and I'll give it back"? Then telling him to "fucking march"? Grow Up! Act like a professional!)

Larry Kelley said...

If you're a coward and you know it clap your hands.

Anonymous said...

With reference to Anon 7:41 pm's comment, it is time to realize that newspaper editorial boards are really not in possession of any special knowledge of how the world works, or even of their own communities.

Hell, we have newspapers in this area in which there is no apparent line of communication between the beat reporters and the opining editors.

Just read the Bulletin's editorials and ask yourself: is there any special insight here? They don't always get the facts straight from their own reporting.

Dr. Ed said...

"Taking away a kids meal card/UMass ID and saying "come see me at the station and I'll give it back"? Then telling him to "fucking march"? "

I'd report it stolen -- by a man armed with a gun.

UMass would still STEAL $27 from the student for a new onr...It's why *I* will never donate a penny to that cesspool (and why I also wont tell you how I am currently earning LOTS of money.)

One of these days, you are going to have a dead cop[ -- please don't ask me to mourn...

Anonymous said...

Lots of good learning going on there. Like what O.C and beer tastes like.

Anonymous said...

I totally agree Anon 942. Case in point. Recently the Gazette published an editorial where they reference the slashed tires on Carolyn Gardners car. Their own reporters have debunked that myth. Yet they repeat the false story as recently as last week in their editorial. Clearly shows the "objective" newspaper's bias. For accurate objective reporting I have dropped the Gazette and turned to the Republican.

Anonymous said...

Anon, thank you for your reply. But as 9:42 stated, no one is in any particularly special knowledge of the dynamics any more than you or I. Due to the access of video and widespread reporting, one can form an intelligent opinion of who was right, and who was wrong. The Davis Report and the anti-police editorials are ridiculous. Plain and simply, you had many thousands of drunken, violent kids marauding through town. THEY drew first blood, and you would expect the police to not do their jobs, and let them escalate that behavior as they surely would have? Wrong. The citizens of Amherst do not have a police force to sit at the station while that type of potentially deadly activity is going on. They had a common sense duty to stop the violence, and not allow it to grow. Think of what would have happened had they not dispersed the crowd. To have allowed that is not acceptable or reasonable use of a police force. To look at what happened and to blame the police is ludicrous, and would not happen anywhere other than in a town with a collective anti-authority, over-thinking, smarter than thou mentality. Of course, cop haters who are paranoid enough to not sign their names because they actually think the police would seek them out because they watch YouTube anti-cop vids "for hours at a time", are certainly entitled to their opinion, but with all due respect, cannot be taken seriously. Richard Marsh.

Larry Kelley said...

Especially since he's such a candy ass coward who can't put his name behind his ramblings.

Ed: The officer at no point drew his weapon. As you can tell from the video he only used his "voice of authority."

Anonymous said...

Sorry, Anon 5:22 am, there is no respite from the problem at the Republican.

I know that the editorial staff at the Republican has absolutely no consultation with knowledgeable beat reporters prior to making endorsements for DA, County Sheriff, etc.

It's a hierarchical society down there, and the higher-ups don't talk with the peons. These newspapers are not fully integrated communities.

So the editors are frequently merely talking out of their asses.

Anonymous said...

It's hard to emphasize this enough.

A kiss is just a kiss.

And most of the time, a newspaper editor is just a newspaper editor, another white-collar wonk sitting in an office.

As we've seen from certain commenters on this blog, an expert does not become an expert simply by self-appointment.

Larry was standing out there. Where were the Gazette and Republican reporters? Does anyone know? Certainly the editors weren't there.

Anonymous said...

The actual reporting on the Carolyn Gardner mess is less biased at the Republican. At the Gazette they might as well give Gardner and Anderson et al bylines.

Larry Kelley said...

White guilt probably.

After all, how many black reporters or editors do you see at the Gazette?

Anonymous said...

Richard--I didn't say I blame the cops for what happened, you are not listening because you don't want to look objectively at the events. I said there are many things they could have and should have done differently that day, and the Chief agrees with me on that one.

Dr. Ed said...

"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.""

This is disturbing on three levels.

First apparently, rioting is OK if you are furthering a socially just cause?!?!?

And then who gets to define what is (and hence isn't) a legitimate "social justice goal" -- the established order that is denying it in the first place?

Which leads to the most disturbing aspect of this -- there are a lot of really p***ed-off white kids. A lot of really angry white males.

That's where we were in the 1960's -- and we know what happened. We know what happened to law enforcement as well -- can you say "The Warren Court?"

The difference between now and then is the level of suppression -- and a level of violence that is escalating on both sides. At some point another line will be crossed and people will die. And then Larry, you won't have to worry about a C5A falling out of the sky -- can you say "Ferguson"?

Dr. Ed said...

"Ed: The officer at no point drew his weapon. As you can tell from the video he only used his "voice of authority.""

Was he or was he not armed?

If you walk into a bank with a firearm in plain sight and demand money, is that not "armed robbery"?

And as to his "voice of authority", that's "Violation of Civil Rights under Color of Law" -- I'd have reported it stolen and forced them to process the paperwork.

More importantly -- and this is something I was surprised not to find in the Davis report -- this is the sort of thing that gets very expensive in terms of community relations.

Anonymous said...

Hey, all this aside...At least the guy in the pic has a nice!

Larry Kelley said...

I'm sure his girlfriend is happy about it (or boyfriend as the case may be).

Anonymous said...

At least the guy in the pic has a nice!

Are you sure that's a guy?

Anonymous said...

Why are firefighters issued military style uniforms for formal occasions?

Anonymous said...

Dr. Ed and others, the UMass ID is the property of the University (it even says so on the back of it) and can be seized by ANY university official.

Anonymous said...

Anon 1:48, I would guess it's because they have Captains, Lieutenant and Chiefs like the military, and that is how they formally show those distinctions.

Anonymous said...

Exactly, 4:44. However, it would seem that that a uniform and rank scares some people. To those it may offend:

Richard Marsh

Anonymous said...

Why do they have Captains, Lieutenants and Chiefs in fire departments? It doesn't scare or offend me, Richard, I just find it curious. Doctors and nurses don't wear military style uniforms. Teachers don't have any uniforms at all. What does fighting domestic fires have to do with the military? When did that start? If you don't have an answer, Richard, it's OK to say "I don't know" sometimes instead of "I don't give a **** what you think".

Anonymous said...

Why would any UMass official want to seize a student's meal card/ID and force them to pick it up at the UMPD station house? Can the APD seize UMass property/a student ID for any reason at any time?

Again, if you're feeling defensive about these innocent questions it's OK to say "I don't know" or to not answer at all.

Dr. Ed said...

"Why would any UMass official want to seize a student's meal card/ID and force them to pick it up at the UMPD station house

And why isn't it a violation of the 13th Amendment to make the student walk up there?

Not that the US Constitution applies to UMass, which sppears to exist in a dimension beyond all law and everything else -- and that is why I say it is only a matter of time until you have a dead cop.

It's only a matter of time ...

Anonymous said...

Dr. Ed, you're not serious right now right, the 13th Amendment? Listen, UMass Police Officers act as "University administrators" in a way that the Amherst Police Department cannot. The UMass Student ID is sort of like a license plate of on a car. It belongs to the state not to the person it is assigned to, and it can be seized by the state.

And you're last sentence there Dr. Ed, sounds like some sort of veiled threat to me. I'd choose your words more carefully next time. You sound like an absolutely out of touch lunatic.

Anonymous said...

Anon 10:43, I do know why they wear uniforms, and I indicated that in my agreement with 4:44's comment.

I wasn't pointing that linked retort at you in particular, as I didn't know you actually objected to their uniforms... until your latest reply. It was a general reply to an audience that is full of people intimidated by uniforms and rank, who revel in unreasonable levels of political correctness, and try to force their beliefs down people's throats, instead of just living their own lives. Richard Marsh

Dr. Ed said...

"UMass Police Officers act as "University administrators" in a way that the Amherst Police Department cannot."

They are also "state actors" in a way that, say Amherst College "administrators" are not and hence can't do anything without fully according the citizen (ie student) full due process.

They are also sworn police offices which places some serious restrictions on what they may do.

"The UMass Student ID is sort of like a license plate of on a car. It belongs to the state not to the person it is assigned to, and it can be seized by the state."

I'd like to see a police officer go into someone's driveway and seize a (lawfully issued/displayed) license plate -- I'm thinking the officer might be looking at a few legal issues....

"And you're last sentence there Dr. Ed, sounds like some sort of veiled threat to me."

Oh, really?

Perhaps you would prefer me to state the concern in the explicit terms that it was stated to me -- by a very high level university administrator???

Her concern was that one of the "students" at one of these "riots" was going to (a) have a handgun and (b) decide to fire it (c) at the police.

I didn't want to state the concern in those explicit terms lest I inadvertently encourage some schmuck to do it, but thanks to some anonymous coward, I have to. So there.

"I'd choose your words more carefully next time."

And that sounds like some sort of veiled threat.

"You sound like an absolutely out of touch lunatic."

And you sound like a dangerous (and cowardly) one. So there...

I'm not going to attest to the sanity of the folk currently running UMass -- only that in falsely defaming me and my sanity, they perhaps are saying quite a bit about their own.

And wasn't there a drunken UM EMPLOYEE arrested WITH A GUN at Rafters THAT DAY?!?!?!?

I can think of a dozen other incidents involving guns on that campus, including the shootout in the Malcolm X Center, the bystander shot in front of T6, and the person shot 50 feet off campus (beyond Lot 33) during SW Week.

And the drunken person wandering around in the vicinity of Thompson and shooting at random things.

Do not forget that seven British soldiers had been murdered before "Bloody Sunday" -- do not forget that police in Ferguson report being shot at with frequency.

No, I don't think this is an unrealistic concern -- and there is a very big difference between warning that something is inexorably approaching and threatening to perpetrate it.

Or are you alleging that Larry Kelly, quite outspoken about AFD staffing, is actually making veiled threats to set fires?

Dr. Ed said...

One other thing:

I think that the UMPD are a disgrace to their uniforms.

I intend to have the whole world know that -- the General Court and everyone else.

Is that a threat? Yes -- but it is also something that I have a lawful right to do. It's called "protected speech."

Anonymous said...

I don't object to their uniforms, Richard, I was just wondering what the history/connection to the military is. My uncle was a firefighter and I never had the chance to ask him, in fact it never really occurred to me until recently. There are doctors and nurses in the military, but in the public sector they do not have ranks like firefighters do, and they don't have military style uniforms. Same with teachers in the military versus public sector. Same with mechanics, cooks, etc. in the military versus public sector.

I really am not sure what you are being so defensive about and what you are objecting to, Richard. If you know why public sector firefighting departments have military ranks and uniforms, I'd like to hear why, because I can't find any info on that matter.

Was the cop who took the kids ID/meal card a UMass cop or an Amherst cop?

Anonymous said...

"I didn't want to state the concern in those explicit terms lest I inadvertently encourage some schmuck to do it, but thanks to some anonymous coward, I have to. So there."

And there we have Ed -- the self-proclaimed soul of discretion and honor and valor -- in a nutshell.

No, Ed, you didn't have to utter the words that you believe might inadvertently inspire violence. You could have kept your big mouth shut.

But apparently you believe winning an argument is far more important than keeping the peace. Getting in the last word trumps absolutely everything, doesn't it, Ed?

Anonymous said...

D/meal card/debit card/dorm key

The card may be UM property but the money stored in it is NOT and I always thought that taking money from someone else was defined as "robbery."

Or perhaps it is legal to steal other people's electronic currency?

Anonymous said...

Anon... as I said, the answer is in the post of 4:44. "it's because they have Captains, Lieutenant and Chiefs like the military, and that is how they formally show those distinctions."

Isn't it obvious that a para-military paradigm would not only be useful, but essential on any active police or fire event? Wouldn't knowing what the chain of command is without having to ask or guess come in handy if several fire companies arrive to douse one's burning home?

Also, I forgot to thank you for letting me know earlier it's ok for me to say "I don't know", or to not answer at all. We type As sometimes don't have the self control to contain ourselves, and to not intimidate the keyboard psychologists. (Though we do sign our names, and can read between the lines.)

I gots twenty bucks says you is a gramma school teacha.

Richard Marsh

Dr. Ed said...

"But apparently you believe winning an argument is far more important than keeping the peace."

No, defending my reputation against a false (maliciously false) accusation that I intend to breach the peace -- a real accusation -- is more important than a hypothetical maybe relating to inadvertent consequences.

"Getting in the last word trumps absolutely everything, doesn't it, Ed?"

I somehow think I struck a nerve -- well, good. Even better if you change your practices and attitudes...

Anonymous said...

I still don't get why you'd need to define the "chain of command" in the same way they do in the military, or why you'd need military style uniforms for FD. You still haven't explained that satisfactorily, Richard. There's an obvious chain of command in hospitals where emergency situations as dire as a fire occur, and they don't have military uniforms or military ranks, and they operate smoothly and effectively in most cases.

I think you're just into uniforms, Richard.

People who truly cherish their freedom and their liberty consider military structures and uniforms and cops necessary evils we need to fund, but we don't consider their authority to be absolute. People like you, Richard, who worship any man or woman in uniform, and see an absolute need for military style ranks for people who fight domestic fires, obviously prefer some form of authoritarianism that true Americans like me detest.

When I read your posts, Richard, I imagine you barking your words like a bully cop. You are not a true patriot, my friend.

Anonymous said...

I appreciate Ed's perspective on these issues, even though I don't agree with everything he says. I believe Ed values liberty in freedom and detests authoritarian policies and viewpoints the way I do. The people like Richard who worship cops and firefighters in military uniforms and soldiers see the government as their parents, not a necessary evil that we should be very wary of.

Anonymous said...

Don't worry Anon. There will always be someone there in uniform to protect you, your children, your property, and your freedoms... no matter how much you detest them. If your house is on fire, if someone you love is assaulted, or God forbid raped, you can still dial 911, they won't hold your "more enlightened than thou" ugliness against you. Feel free to have the last word, but have the courage to sign your name.

"Only In Amherst".

Richard Marsh

Dr. Ed said...

And perhaps, Mr. Marsh, you might be kind enough to answer the question of "and who guards the Guardians?"

Larry Kelley said...

I do.

Anonymous said...

Hear! Hear!

Anonymous said...

I still don't get why you'd need to define the "chain of command" in the same way they do in the military,

And you never will. Lives could be at stake. And you ask that ??

Anonymous said...

Hear! Hear!

Anonymous said...

Lives are at stake in a hospital, too. They don't use a military style chain of command. They don't dress in military style clothes when they attend formal events. They save more lives than firefighters on a daily basis with no breakdown of "chain of command". It would be quite simple to create a chain of command for firefighters that is not militaristic in name, simple to design uniforms that are not military style, that are just as effective and appropriate. The jobs domestic firefighters do have nothing at all to do with the job soldiers do. I just wonder why sometimes they act like they are in the military when they have no power or authority of the kind that is granted to a soldier or a cop, who use force and need weapons and can detain and arrest and question, etc.

It's a simple question really that no one seems to have a real answer to, just more of "I'm a tough guy, ask a cop or a firefighter these questions when they are doing the job you pay them to do when you're in trouble, you're an ungrateful commie, blah, blah, blah."

There damn well better be someone there doing the jobs I pay through my nose in taxes for! You act like someone is selflessly doing us a favor when they fight a fire or arrest a criminal. Those are OUR trucks and guns and uniforms, and your welcome for the funding you receive and the pay you support yourself and your family with.

Why do firefighters and cops and their supporters demand more respect for their authority and the jobs they do than teachers, doctors, nurses, social workers, etc.?

I repeat, the individual who is wary of those who wish and choose to seem more authoritative, of those who treat other Americans civilians as potential combatants and enemies, of those who wish to use tactics and styles and forms employed by armies designed to fight enemy combatants, of those who will not even tolerate a free American asking these questions, is more patriotic, more committed to freedom and liberty, than those who blindly support every individual in a uniform.

Richard would have supported the lobster-backs. Ed, and for that matter the kid mooning the cops, is a greater patriot than the cowards who support a paid civil servant who misuses a paint ball gun by shooting chemical munitions through a glass window into a room where an innocent toddler could be sleeping.

Larry Kelley said...

Methinks thou doth protest too much. W-a-y too much. CAN.

Anonymous said...

What's the matter, smart-ass, you don't know any Hawthorne?

Anonymous said...

"No, defending my reputation against a false (maliciously false) accusation that I intend to breach the peace -- a real accusation -- is more important than a hypothetical maybe relating to inadvertent consequences."

Like I said: I, me, mine...

Anonymous said...

Whaddya got against the military, anyway? Do you not support your country? Why do you choose to live here? There must be some system somewhere under which you'll be happier.

Anonymous said...

I knew eventually someone would lob the "love it or leave it" adage.

Anonymous said...

Do you not support your country?

Again, yes, I support our military, the cops, so on and so on through my taxes. I consider them a necessary evil in a free society. I don't have to love them or spend my days thanking them for doing their jobs in their chosen fields.

Anonymous said...

I love George Harrison!

Anonymous said...

Evil. Yes, I can see the love of country shining through.

Anonymous said...

They don't really teach love of country in schools here. I'm not saying leave it, just asking why someone who clearly holds no love for this country would want to stay.

Dr. Ed said...

"Like I said: I, me, mine..."

Damn right!

I am going to defend my reputation. And your problem with that is what, exactly?

Why isn't your problem with the person(s) who force me to have to do this in the first place?

And as to UMass, anyone know where one can purchase stakes made of Ash and not Oak?

Dr. Ed said...

You know, there is a need for the country to be worth loving.

I'm not so sure it is...

Amherst sure as hell isn't!

Anonymous said...

That sentiment, unfortunately, is typical. Rather than stand up for what's good and right about your country, you drag us down. Remember a great Democrat's challenge to "...ask what you can do for your country?" The country is worth loving.

Anonymous said...

This latest conversation might be best posted on the "Thanks to Our Veterans" heading here. Incidentally, even the mafia uses military rankings. Why can't they simply do the jobs we're paying them to do??

Anonymous said...

Nice ass