For ongoing Pumpkin Fest riot coverage, please visit Free Keene.
Alex Moushey’s report from the streets during the Pumpkin Fest 2014 riots reveal why the situation did not improve with the police’s unnecessarily violent tactics.
Rather than only arresting people who were causing violence and destruction, the police were targeting people crossing arbitrary lines and partying on private property. In this excellent ten-minute video, Alex is right there when cops create all kinds of unnecessary mayhem: (click links below to jump to that part if you are short on time)
- They shoot pepperballs at party houses on Winchester St – completely unnecessary – those people were on private property and not in the road. It’s arguable that pepperballs are useful to clear a crowd who won’t leave a street and indeed, blocking streets is one of the reasons the “disorderly conduct” statute exists, but the people at these houses were just enjoying themselves. The use of pepperballs in this situation is just aggressive.
- Guy walking down sidewalk is violently arrested by a throng of cops – This guy is literally just walking down the sidewalk. He’s hasn’t threatened anyone and is not blocking the street. The reason he can’t walk down the sidewalk is, well, because the men with guns say so. The reason the cops decide to jump him like he’s strapped with a bomb is, because they can.
It’s behavior like this from police that alienates them from average people. This is why Cop Block is so popular on campus. Here are the students’ sensible responses to the violence that was visited upon them by the police:
“We’re not terrorists. We love America. We just like to drink! Don’t shoot us!”
There’s a reason why the young ladies in the video think that the police are “pieces of shit” because they hurt their peaceful friends – every weekend, not just Pumpkin Fest. If all the police did was arrest people who hurt others or destroy property, it wouldn’t be as big a deal if they cleared some streets with pepperballs, but the adrenaline-hyped cops seem to have a penchant for escalating a situation. There’s more footage showing police attacking people for walking peacefully long after the riots had subsided – I’ll upload that soon enough. Stay tuned here to Free Keene for the latest on the Pumpkin Fest Riots of 2014.