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East Lansing mayor: City needs to 'tackle the culture' behind unruly celebrations

Posted at 6:04 AM, Nov 01, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-01 06:04:42-04

EAST LANSING, Mich. — After Michigan State defeated the University of Michigan Saturday, some East Lansing celebrations got a bit out of hand, East Lansing Mayor Jessy Gregg said.

Fans set couches and other furniture on fire and flipped a car.

Gregg went on a ride along with police and said the violent celebrations were unacceptable.

“I think people might misunderstand the complication of policing something that is a celebration of that size spread out over the full municipal area of East Lansing," Gregg said. "We've got about 15 square miles of city. And it's definitely concentrated close to the campus, but it's spread out over that whole campus-adjacent neighborhood.”

Only three firetrucks were attempting to tackle 15 fires throughout the city Saturday night, and Gregg said it wasn't "actually possible to have enough officer presence to make a difference."

The solution? Gregg believes greater cooperation between Michigan State University, East Lansing Police Department and the community at large is necessary to curb any unruly behavior.

“I think we really just as a community have to tackle the culture behind this violent celebration tradition," Gregg said. "Because otherwise, we're never going to be able to make a dent.”

The East Lansing Police Department said they cannot say how many citations were issued, or how many arrests were made on Saturday. Those numbers will likely not be available until Tuesday.