Skip to comments.Cops’ pepper shot kills student
Posted on 10/22/2004 3:46:41 AM PDT by ninonitti
The sequence of events that led to the death of an Emerson College student began when a half-dozen officers on horseback were surrounded by rioting Red Sox fans on Lansdowne Street about 1:30 a.m. yesterday, witnesses said.
By the time armor-clad cops dispersed the crowd of some 3,000 in the shadow of Fenway Park's Green Monster, Victoria Snelgrove, 21, lay fatally injured. She had been struck in the eye by one of a number of pepper balls fired by police to quell unruly fans throwing bottles and bricks.
``The cops (on horseback) pushed in and the people closed in behind them,'' said Emerson student Brett Schweinberg, 18, who was struck by two pepper projectiles fired by police while trying to scale the Green Monster.
``They were surrounded by people and a bottle landed near a horse and it spooked it. It faltered and it got jittery and 30 to 40 seconds later, cops turned around and fired at a group of people about 20 feet to my left. People scattered except for one girl who was bleeding from the nose and mouth.''
A Herald reporter in the midst of the crowd saw revelry turn to mob mentality. Several people tried to scale the Green Monster, at least one of whom plummeted to the ground after being shot by a projectile.
Small fires burned, street signs were torn down and trash barrels were tossed about as police struggled to control the increasingly hostile crowd. Several cars became trapped by walls of people while drivers spun their tires and blared stereos - some with people riding on the roof. Several bottles were thrown, one of which reportedly struck a police officer, breaking his nose.
Theshot that killed Snelgrove followed a standoff between a cop on horseback and a young man wearing a gray knit hat. Standing by a bustling sausage cart, the man refused the officer's orders to move, prompting the officer to reach down and toss him to the ground. After getting up, the man hurled profanities at the cop and made several obscene gestures.
More bottles were thrown as at least one riot cop fired projectiles into the crowd, one of which apparently struck Snelgrove. She immediately fell to the ground while her friends tended to her, rubbing her head as blood streamed from her face. Horrified onlookers shouted ``get an ambulance'' as the girl drifted in and out of consciousness. One of the riot cops checked on the girl briefly. Approximately five minutes after she collapsed, mounted police cleared a path for an ambulance and the girl was taken away.
As cops cleared the crowd, one young man who had been standing near Snelgrove shouted at police, ``Are you happy? Murderers!''
One officer was stunned at the ferocity of the violence. ``I saw the horses surrounded,'' he said. ``It was like a vacuum. They got sucked in. I saw guys holding small trees they had pulled out of the ground like warriors. They were holding steel sign posts they had bent over and broken. We had to fight to get control.''
I guess it's open season on young women....what kind of maroons are wielding these "non-lethal" weapons?
"Small fires burned, street signs were torn down and trash barrels were tossed about as police struggled to control the increasingly hostile crowd. Several cars became trapped by walls of people while drivers spun their tires and blared stereos - some with people riding on the roof. Several bottles were thrown, one of which reportedly struck a police officer, breaking his nose."
I guess the "maroons" should have let this bunch burned and destroy as they pleased.
The paintball guns these weapons are based on aren't known to be highly accurate, IIRC. They fire a .75 in ball filled with liquid out of a typically smooth bore barrel. Not a paragon of accuracy. You might hit anyone with a weapon like that. They are meant for crowd control, not sniping.
"The girl had been standing by the sausage cart with friends." Standing around watching the riot, no doubt.
Lesson: when you see cops move in on a crowd...leave. Bad things generally happen when you are somewhere you don't belong, or when you're doing something you shouldn't be doing.
There is no way "non-lethal" weapons should result in a death. But on the other hand, cops should not have to worry about their safety because a city's team has won a ball game. Is this South American soccer? Should the cops just retreat to their station houses and let the celebrators do as they will?
When sports produces riots, win or lose, we, as a nation, need to do some very serious mental self-examination.
I hate to say it but WINNING or losine a game is not an excuse to carry on like this. None of this should have happened.
I hate to say it but WINNING or LOSING a game is not an excuse to carry on like this. None of this should have happened.
Must be a poster on DU.
"I guess the "maroons" should have let this bunch burned and destroy as they pleased."
That isn't the issue. The issue is that the police overreacted and an innocent girl was killed because of it. I don't think anyone thinks the police should not do their job, or protect themselves, but to shoot point blank randomly into a crowd doesn't seem very effective unless your aim is to wound or kill randomly. That isn't good police work. The police knew the crowd that would appear if the Sox one. I support the police, but not in this case. They clearly did not prepare for the celebrants or how they would control the crowd.
Yeah, you are right.
The cops should have sent out "Crowd Control Couselors" to help the kids deal with their "Post Athletic Disappointment Syndrome."
That's the most "Intelligent" comment on this thread!
(parsing your tag-line! )
The girl shouldn't have been in the middle of a riot. No one is to blame but her. I've always felt that when cops close in on a crowd, and start trying to disperse it, it's wise to follow their instructions. She and her friends did not, and unfortunately she got hit.
What were the cops supposed to do, allow the looting and rioting to continue? I doubt that this girl was minding her own business at the sausage cart while everything went to hell around her. Maybe she was a bit drunk, having "fun" with her irresponsible friends, and a cop fires into the crowd. She was just in the wrong place at the wrong time.
College kids do STUPID things. I was one of them. Had I been killed in college due to my own stupidity, surely my parents would have done what this girl's father is doing - claim their daughter was a perfect child, show an airbrushed photo of an attractive young woman, and blame the cops. No parent wants to believe that their now-dead child is capable of getting drunk and acting like a jerk.
I just heard on the radio that the mayor of Boston is considering banning the sale of alchohol at games and forbidding local bars from carrying future games on TV. If that isn't a typical snivelling lefty response. Let's take something away from everybody because some delinquents get out of control and one of them, DUE TO THEIR OWN STUPIDITY, gets killed.
Y'know the old rule: sometimes bad things happen to good people? Well, sometimes bad things happen to morons too.
Jeff Cooper wrote an excellent piece on 22 rimfire for riot control.
With modern medical attention, its not particularly lethal, but it does allow the authorities to address individuals.
Hey stupid... know anything about what goes on in Boston after a sporting event?!
That's one reason I could never be a cop. I see pictures of this kind of crap on TV and think that if you'd shoot some of them, preferably in the legs, (with real bullets, not pansy paint balls), these incidents would occur less frequently. The problem in this country is that there are no consequences for actions anymore. "ooohhh, can't punish the criminal, his daddy left him when he was little"..
I watched the "riot" after the game....local teevee had a number of aerial livefeeds. The location where this girl was killed by the BPD was not anywhere near where property was either burned or destroyed.....that was happening in Kenmore square.
Police there dispersed the crowd with batons and tradition "non-lethal" weapons.
My point is we have a small police force top heavy with brass that spends lavishly on overtime and high tech toys rather than hiring more cops
"How do you know that police "shoot point blank randomly into a crowd"? Isn't it possible that when a policeman made a shot his horse jerked or something else happened?"
According to the eyewitnesses, both on the ground and on rooftops above, the bottle landed near the police and he then without hesitation shot into the crowd in the area the bottle came from. There is never any mention of this being an accident. In fact, the Boston Police, have already said they were at fault, and that it was not accident: the police intended, and did, shoot into the crowd.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.