Crowd Control

By: Lori Dougovito and Adrienne Broaddus
By: Lori Dougovito and Adrienne Broaddus

Soon after the last buzzer sounded, thousands flooded downtown East Lansing and the Cedar Village apartments.

Crowd control included canisters of noxious tear gas and jugs of pepper spray. It was purchased with general fund dollars from the city's budget.

Before canisters can be deployed, a warning must be issued. It's police protocol. A number of people say they never got the warning. East Lansing police say that's not true. They say they gave the warning. Some just may not have heard it.

The message was loud and clear at Cedar Village courtesy of a $1,200 portable PA system rented by the city. There was a second PA system in downtown East Lansing, but we haven't heard from anyone who heard the warning.

Police met with the media Sunday afternoon, standing by their actions the night before, insisting it was all necessary. They agree the warnings may have been hard to hear, but do not apologize.

They patroled on foot, and horseback, but East Lansing police chief Louis Muhn says some still don't get the picture. Forty-three were arrested. 21 of them were MSU students. There were fifteen fires, burning couches, dumpsters and other material.

Three officers were injured and about 60 cans of tear gas were released in Cedar Village .

MSU president Lou Anna Simon says behavior displayed Saturday night isn't comparable to the 1999 crowd when MSU lost to duke in the Final Four, ut she says theres still room for improvement.

"Did we achieve perfection? No. Did we achieve everything we wanted to accomplish? No," Simon said.

The cost of Saturday's post-game activites and extra security haven't been calculated, but for Muhn one question remains: "It makes you wonder and think are there better ways to spend money than this."


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