Rioters complain about tear gas.
April 3, 2002 8:45 AM   Subscribe

Rioters complain about tear gas. [Bloominton Hearald-Times, link expires after a week] After Indiana University lost to Maryland in the NCAA finals, drunken fans rioted in the streets forcing police to use tear gas. It was stupid enough to start a riot, but rioters complained that the police offered no warning before deploying tear gas after rioters pelted the police with beer bottles and prevented the fire department from putting out fires in the middle of the street. "They could have easily done that," Raggs said. "If they would have said, 'You have 10 minutes, then we are going to use the tear gas,' people would have gone away." Personally, I think the police showed an amazing level of restraint considering that about half of the state troopers on the scene got hit by flying glass.
posted by KirkJobSluder (23 comments total)
I wonder if anyone warned the cops before they tossed a bottle at them?
posted by groundhog at 8:52 AM on April 3, 2002

that tear gas must be damned effective--this guy is STILL crying.
posted by zoopraxiscope at 9:01 AM on April 3, 2002

Those stupid stupid kids. What the hell did they think would happen? They riot over a STUPID POINTLESS sports event, harm police officers, and generally act like drunken brats, and did they expect a little wrist slap? For the cops to walk away? They got everything they deserved and more.
posted by aacheson at 9:03 AM on April 3, 2002

I didn't know there were "rules of engagement" for rioters and riot-police.

"Here is our rioting schedule. Appendix A is where you will find the routes our unruly, pampered, and drunk collegiate mob will take. You will notice that we have proposed pausing at the duck pond, where we will throw sign-posts through car windows. This is the *only* place we will allow you to beat us with your billy-clubs. Please sign here."
posted by tpl1212 at 9:04 AM on April 3, 2002

Dammit! Why can't the police treat rioting mobs with a little civility?!

Yeesh. Kids these days.
posted by me3dia at 9:05 AM on April 3, 2002

Has anyone here ever been in a riot? I think that if I was in a crowd of people and some of them started throwing stuff at police, that would be all the warning I needed to immediately void my bowels and get the hell out of the place.
posted by rcade at 9:05 AM on April 3, 2002

I was close by when the rioting started in Bradford last summer. This was after the same thing had happened in three similar but smaller towns and after three months of all Bradfordians thinking to themselves "this is *bound* to happen here too". Lets just say when we went to the demonstration against racism we all had sneakers on.

Usual stupid rioters though, they carried on in their own neighbourhoods and that is where it got nasty. In the centre of the city it was kids throwing bottles and the odd punch being thrown. That's Bradford on any Saturday night.
posted by vbfg at 9:12 AM on April 3, 2002

If you're gonna riot, you should be prepared for a little tear gas. Did we learn nothing from the sixties?
posted by ZachsMind at 9:25 AM on April 3, 2002

my roommate and i biked down to the happenin' scene last year after the arizona wildcats (the hometown team) lost to duke, and became witness to the riot there. it was amazing to watch things progress. first it was almost mardi gras; folks were disappointed with the loss but consoled by all the topless, shoulder-riding babes. then some lamp covers got batted around. next thing you know, the actual lamp posts are coming down and there are two cars overturned and burning and people are running shirtless down the street bashing in every plate glass window within reach.

people didn't clear off the street until the cops began marching in from both ends, eventually firing bean bags and (i think) some tear gas at the stragglers. not that that is indicative, but the way the situation was handled by the police was not effective/adequate/very good at all. sounds like there was a similar situation in indiana.

just this week the charges were dropped on everyone who got caught doing bad things. usual stupid rioters....that's so right. 'crowd mentality' just doesn't do justice to the stupidity of some people. huh huh huh. fire. huh huh.
posted by carsonb at 9:28 AM on April 3, 2002

Is this a test?
posted by y2karl at 9:28 AM on April 3, 2002

damn you, carsonb
posted by y2karl at 9:29 AM on April 3, 2002

Michelle Cottle makes an interesting point in the New Republic, summarised by Andrew Sullivan:

It's somehow a sporting tradition, especially after the universally approved NCAA championship. When black kids do it, it's crime.
posted by evanizer at 9:36 AM on April 3, 2002

Well, I would think that in all the years we've been having riots, people would have noticed that if you throw things at police, they fire things back at you. Seems a fairly simple case of cause and effect, really.
posted by dejah420 at 9:36 AM on April 3, 2002

Reminds me of another riot... when Indiana was on the winning side.

I've never been to Bloomington, but having once spent four years in Syracuse, I can understand -- though certainly not condone or even sympathize -- that fans in otherwise sleepy, big-college towns can get frenzied when the local boys come home empty.

What I don't understand is how our society has placed so much value on sports events as to provoke such reactions. (Rioting is sore-losership gone way, way out of acceptable behavioral limits.)
posted by skyboy at 9:40 AM on April 3, 2002

It is good to see our youngster taking part in acts of civil disobedience for good causes...we shall overcome.
posted by Postroad at 9:44 AM on April 3, 2002

evanizer, I call bullshit on Michelle Cottle's simplistic argument. Following a similar riot in 1999 after Michigan State University lost to Duke in the semi-finals of the NCAA championship, the punishment was swift and severe:

"More than 130 people, the majority of them college kids who had never been inside a police station, were arrested last March in the aftermath of one of the country's worst, and most senseless, college riots. They included troubled teens with alcohol problems and straight-arrows who can only explain their actions by saying they were caught in the moment. Those convicted, from rioters who looted and burned a police car to a student caught roasting a hot dog over an illegal bonfire, paid more than $300,000 in restitution and served a total of eight years behind bars. They went to jail at an incarceration rate higher than that of convicted rapists and robbers nationally."

The quote comes from an interesting article looking back one year after the MSU riots. No one can argue that the riot was treated just as a "sporting tradition."
posted by pardonyou? at 10:14 AM on April 3, 2002

No one in Bloomington needs a reason to "riot." I was @ IU for the Little 500 (see the movie Breaking Away for more info) in 1991 (or was is 1992?) and all hell broke loose. Over-turned cars set on fire, burning furniture, and loads of police in riot gear.
posted by internal at 10:15 AM on April 3, 2002

My primary thought is that nothing says "the party is over" like having 150 police officers in riot gear show up. After that, you really need to be told that it is time to go home?
posted by KirkJobSluder at 11:28 AM on April 3, 2002

Having been there for the riots that follwed the Knight firing, I'm pretty sure they were warned. Having been exposed to enough CS in the army, when I see a cop in riot gear put on a gas mask I can guess what is going to happen next. That's when I leave.

During those same riots officers tried threatening the crowd with CS and setting of some loud but harmless explosives a distance from the crowd. Neither worked. Why would it work here then, when half of the rioters had been drinking since noon?

I'll attribute it to that. You have bars being filled up by noon for a game that starts at 9:20. That's 9 hours and 20 minutes to drink enough to make you do very stupid things, especially when encouraged by a mob.

I think this was just a stupid, isolated incident. I went to Kirkwood after the Duke on Oklahoma games and the crowd was huge but controlled. The worst thing I saw was a stop sign being torn from the ground. There were even parents with young children near the epicenter. From what I saw, 99% were respectful and courteous.
posted by ttrendel at 1:23 PM on April 3, 2002

Where I come from, it's not even considered a party until rubber bullets and tear gas start flying. Wusses.
posted by billman at 2:04 PM on April 3, 2002

cops need to start using flashbangs. that would rule.
posted by jcterminal at 2:43 PM on April 3, 2002

damn me? meh?

dang. i'm so confused again.
posted by carsonb at 4:25 PM on April 3, 2002

dang. i'm so confused again.

In a truly just world, my comment would have come before yours.
posted by y2karl at 12:09 AM on April 4, 2002

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