East Lansing Riot Plan

By: Beth Shayne
By: Beth Shayne

The idea suggests the city council look into ways to give the mayor power to stop alcohol sales. Proponents say it's been successful in other states.

It's a long way off because it requires legislative action, but there are already questions about how it would be used and if the city's bar and liquor stores owners would stand for it.

"I don't think that's a realistic request to make," says Buffalo Wild Wings manager Aaron Weiner.

The bar does very good business when MSU's basketball team is having success, and Weiner says they've always cooperated with the city to help make playoffs nights as safe as possible by using plastic ashtrays and glasses, and by closing the blinds when problems are occuring outside.

It's not a hardship, Weiner says, but of course, limited alcohol sales on those playoff nights would be one. Unfair, Weiner says, because it's not his patrons that have caused past problems.

"It's the people getting hammered in their house with no one to police their behavior," he says.

Mark Meadows, chair of the riot review commission agrees. He says the intention of this recommendation: to stop drinking once there is a problem. The mayor, Sam Singh, who'd have the power, says that's his intention as well

"We saw students carrying cases into the area where there was a disturbance. If we could deal with that situation..., " Singh says.

For now, Singh's looking more at short-term recommendations, things that can and likely will happen before this spring. He says the police departments already working to improve communication among officers and with students.

Everything else--including the mayor's power over alcohol sales--is for now, a question on the table. The council will work on the recommendations at a session next week. They hope to have some passed by January.


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