Riot Review Meeting

By: Beth Shayne
By: Beth Shayne

6 of the 8 agencies on patrol attended the meeting, hosted by MSU's Public Safety Department. They intend to write a report, due out the week of May 2nd. It will address the behavior that night, and set policy for the future.

There is intense pressure on this review, thanks to criticism of police behavior from students, parents, and others in the community. At issue: the use of teargas, the warnings that preceded the teargas, and the amount in which it was used.

East Lansing Deputy Chief Tom Wiebert pledged the police department looks at this meeting "with an open mindset." He says they're looking for things they might do differently in a similar situation, and things they might do the same.

Lou Anna K. Simon, MSU president, chimed in by way of a statement. Most of it was published in the student newspaper, the State News on Monday. She encouraged people to think on the people in the streets April 2nd as celebrants, not potential rioters. She says those who broke the law should be punished. She also encouraged students to continue to voice their criticism so that the assessment of the police methods can be "free of bias" and conclusive.

East Lansing City Manager Ted Staton says those have been the president's words all along. Some students thought they signaled a change of heart. Sophomore Isabel Eastlick: I think she's coming over to our side," expresses her observation that Simon and faculty are beginning to think police made mistakes.

Terry Denbow, VP of University Relations, like Staton, says these have been Simon's words all along. He says her goal is to encourage assessment that's "evidence-based" and "conclusive."


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