Riot Police Clash with Slc Crowd

Topics: Salt Lake City, Rocky Anderson, Winter Olympic Games Pages: 2 (602 words) Published: February 24, 2002
I'VE BEEN IN riots and this was not a riot," Salt Lake City Police Chief Rick Dinse said at a news conference at midmorning Sunday. "… I believe it was the right amount of force at the right time." Dinse said windows in several buildings and at least one vehicle were damaged during the clash, which began when individuals in a boisterous crowd in the thousands became unruly after the Bud World beer garden attraction was closed after reaching capacity. Dinse estimated damage could reach "the low thousands," but both he and Mayor Rocky Anderson objected to early reports that characterized the incident as a riot.

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"We want to emphasize that this was a relatively minor disturbance," Anderson said. "… Frankly, I anticipated far worse than this and far earlier (in the Games)." Dinse said between 180 and 200 helmeted and riot-gear clad officers responded to the area near Main and 200 South Streets after receiving reports that the crowd was getting out of hand. The gathering was declared an "unlawful assembly" about midnight and officers began slowly pushing the crowd, many of whom were chanting "USA, USA!", down Main Street to the south, Dinse said. Rob Garcia, 18, of Salt Lake City told the Associated Press the crowd was yelling at police, and officers forced people against cars. "The police were pushing people," he said. "The cops just jumped across and set up a barricade." Two revelers fight in the street during a riot. Several shop windows were broken, but no injuries...
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