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East Lansing and Michigan State University debate how to prevent chaos after big games

Posted at 8:26 AM, Nov 02, 2021

EAST LANSING, Mich. (WXYZ) — East Lansing police are asking for help identifying Michigan State University students in videos all over social media causing destruction after the big victory on Saturday over Michigan. Some arrests have already been made.

The videos show one car being flipped over. Other videos show students kicking in the windows, sitting on the car, and lighting fireworks. Another video shows a couch set on fire and one student sitting on it has flames on his backside.

East Lansing Mayor Jesse Gregg did a ride-along with East Lansing Police and tells 7 Action News, “The takeaway, for me, is really that we're not going to be able to police our way out of this. We could have had 1,000 police officers in East Lansing and we wouldn't have been able to police this because you had groups of 20 to 100 people spread out over 15 municipal square miles in gridlock traffic.”

Mayor Gregg posted pictures on her Twitter page. She says at least two cars were flipped over. She also saw students throwing bottles and other objects at police.

She says the university needs to step in after trouble started here back in 1999.

“It's not going be an overnight solution. I really would love to be in the office of the president and give him some of my thoughts on what we could do to move forward. It has to be a cultural shift. It really has to be a cultural shift,” Mayor Gregg said.

She agrees with police that students identified causing the most damage should be charged with felonies and expelled from the university.

“You should no longer represent the institution of MSU,” the mayor said.

East Lansing police say they had 349 calls for services on October 20. They issued 20 citations and arrested 5 people. From 7:30 a.m. on October 30 to 7:30 a.m on October 31, the East Lansing Fire Department had 142 calls for services, including 79 EMS calls, 57 fire calls, 20 fire alarm calls, two elevator rescues, 26 medic assists and six mutual aid calls.

“The East Lansing Police Department was adequately prepared for a celebration following MSU’s big win over Michigan. Unfortunately, our peacekeeping efforts had to be shifted to responding to several couch fires in the roadway and large crowds that were blocking streets, which resulted in major safety concerns and traffic issues,” said East Lansing Police Chief Kim Johnson in a news release. “The number of reported fires also required the 911 dispatch center to have to separate the calls to our police and fire frequencies, resulting in our firefighters having to respond to several fires without police security. This was a very serious safety issue for our emergency responders. Setting fires and causing malicious destruction of property is a totally unacceptable way for Spartans and Spartan fans to celebrate big wins. We will be seeking the fullest extent of charges for those individuals who have been captured in photos and videos setting fires and causing damage to other people’s property.”