After Terps game, the police turned revelry into a riot

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Regarding the March 5 Metro article " 'Unruly' postgame revelry leads to 28 arrests in College Park":

I am a homeowner in College Park, and last Wednesday night's events highlighted both the best and worst of living here. I luckily got last-minute tickets to Maryland's thrilling victory over Duke. The return from the game, however, dampened my spirits. As I slowly rode my bike home down Route 1, a riot-clad policeman charged toward me, brandishing his nightstick and yelling, "Get the hell out of here!"

Not seeking pain, I pulled into the shopping center parking lot to see a phalanx of riot police march toward a group of students. The police were banging their batons on their shields like a scene from "Shaka Zulu."

While this terror-inducing tactic may be appropriate for battle, it was wholly unwarranted in this situation. I felt that the celebratory atmosphere among the students was much more like election night 2008 in the District than a confrontation. If anything, it was the bizarre need for the police to "clear" Route 1 that precipitated violence. To call what happened a riot is a joke.

Steve McDermott, College Park

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