Saturday, February 16, 2008

Dead Prez gig ends in microriot

The Dead Prez date at Evergreen State University ended in a riot after members of the audience questioned conduct of police officers. The cops were taking a man into custody following a fight when a group gathered, first taunting the officers and then blocking their exit.

More police came out to help the campus police, and - after the arrested man was released to defuse the situation - it looked like things might calm down. Unfortunately, the police couldn't then start their own car. And it all kicked off.

Apparently, Dead Prez didn't help matters, either:

After the arrest, [Trooper Brandy Kessler of the Washington State Patrol] said, a member of the hip-hop group reportedly told the crowd, “They’re taking one of our people. Go take care of it.”

“It sounds like the band may have been encouraging them a little,” she said.

Perhaps ironically, the fight appears to have started after gig security ejected the guy from the concert for smoking cannabis - which makes it seem less like the police were taking one of "their" people as arresting someone who had attacked one of theirs.

Amongst all the turmoil, a police laptop was stolen from the car - interesting privacy questions raised there although nobody seems that bothered; State officials are confident they can identifty, arrest and charge rioters.