Police Use Tear Gas to Halt Fans on Michigan Campus
A group of Michigan fans rioted when police tried to disperse them early Tuesday, throwing rocks and bottles and injuring at least one officer and one student.
Police fired at least 10 volleys of tear gas into the crowd of 5,000 to 6,000 gathered on University Street after Michigan’s 71-51 loss Monday night to Duke.
Police on horseback went through the crowd lining the main campus thoroughfare, trying to get them to disperse. When that failed, the officers, wearing riot gear, lined up four-men deep and pushed the crowd back.
Revelers, who had seemed under control, then turned to face the police, refusing to move, and began throwing bottles and other objects.
That is when the first fusillade of tear gas was fired, witnesses said.
Police then retreated into the main open-air quadrangle inside West Engineering, a campus building, where they continued to launch tear gas.
About 500 fans, some vomiting from the tear gas, remained outside the quadrangle, some setting fires in trash cans, pulling down signs and throwing bottles and rocks.
“Things were going fine,” said Peter Laird, 20, a Michigan student.
“People were talking with the police officers. When the officers approached, that incited the crowd. I don’t understand.”
One officer was hit by a rock and was hospitalized, police said. A report of the officer’s condition was not immediately available.