Witnesses, Police Discuss Response to Weekend Party

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A home video shows the hundreds gathered and the roughly 45 police officers responding to the incident early Sunday morning.

Brenda Williams says she was part of the party.

"I'd say it was a good 300 students. We all kind of congregated out in the parking lot. We're all just out there hanging out, talking, not really causing any problems with neighbors or anything," Williams said.

But neighbors describe a party loud enough to shake the walls in their homes.

Lansing's 911 logs seem to confirm it.

"It was a large party. People drinking, blocking the parking lot, up on vehicles, that type of thing," Lansing Police Lt. Bruce Ferguson said.

The logs show the first calls to police coming in at 1:44 a.m. Ferguson says officers were called in to respond, and arrived shortly thereafter.

Williams says she remembers the police arriving and telling the crowd to go home.

"The crowd did begin to disperse, but I guess we weren't leaving fast enough for them," she said.

The police tell a different story.

"If they don't live there, they need to leave. Not when they feel like it, but when they're asked to leave. And that's what officers requested. And they didn't do it," Ferguson said.

Williams says she and her friends were leaving peacefully when one friend got into an argument with an officer.

"Next thing you know, it was a knee in my back and I was cuffed and thrown into a car," she said.

Arrested needlessly, Williams says, because of an overaggressive police response.

An apartment courtesy patrolman seems to disagree. He called in at 2:13 a.m. saying he had to leave the area because "it's so out of hand."

Ferguson said officers' accounts confirm partygoers shouting obscenities and refusing to leave the scene.

"That's when an officer attempted to make an arrest," he said. "And the crowd turned on him."

An event Ferguson says justifies a substantial police response, one that by his count included nine law enforcement agencies and roughly 45 officers.

He says anyone who feels mistreated by an officer should file a complaint with the Lansing Police Department.