Kent State, Minnesota Police Quell Weekend Riots

Police from both schools resort to antiriot measures, but critics complain about the officers' actions.

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A Saturday night party attended by up to 3,000 people turned into a riot, prompting Kent State police to shoot rubber bullets and tear-gas pellets into the crowd. Police eventually arrested about 50 people, the Daily Kent Stater reports. Around half those arrested were Kent State students. Charges included failure to disperse, underage drinking, disorderly conduct, falsification, and obstruction of justice.

According to various reports, the scene began getting ugly when officers attempted to arrest an attendee at the school's annual College Fest party. Police were pelted with rocks and beer bottles and, in response, fired rubber bullets and tear gas. Instead of dispersing, rioters started a 15-foot fire in the middle of the street, throwing tree branches, furniture, street signs, and a TV into the fire. Cheering crowds gathered around it, filling lawns and climbing onto rooftops.

Students have accused the police of resorting to excessive force when quelling the crowd, saying the use of rubber bullets and tear gas was premature. Police officials deny any wrongdoing.

A similar scene played out at the University of Minnesota's Spring Jam, where six people were arrested late Saturday after hundreds of students became rowdy and threw rocks and beer bottles at police, started fires, broke windows, and attempted to tip cars over, the Minnesota Daily reports. Minneapolis police used pepper spray and smoke grenades to disperse the crowd. However, at Minnesota, students seem to be complaining that police didn't do enough.

At the University of Connecticut, 111 people were arrested over Spring Weekend, more than twice the number of arrests during last year's corresponding event. About 15,000 attended the full-weekend event, including many nonstudents. The vast majority of the arrests reportedly were of non-UConn students.