At least 1,500 University of Massachusetts at Amherst students rioted after the New England Patriots lost to the New York Giants in Super Bowl XLVI.
Amherst police and Massachusetts State Police surrounded the University campus and issued a dispersal order at 10:08 p.m. Sunday, about 15 minutes after a large crowd started gathering.
Police used flash-bang and smoke grenades to disperse the crowd as officers clad in riot gear and mounted police marched on the crowd.
It was a chaotic scene as police moved onto the campus trying to clear students from rioting, but to no end – students smashed bottles, set off firecrackers and other fireworks, while fights broke out.
One student was seen scaling a building, while another was restrained by three officers. The students chanted “U.S.A.,” “F*ck the Giants,” and ” F*ck the police,” which could be heard rising from the mob.
According to the Student Affairs and Campus Life “Acceptable Fan Behavior” policy, students’ right to celebrate ends “where the rights of others and the law begin.”
Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs and Campus Life Jean Kim said in an email Thursday:
“The safety of our students is always our top priority. If crowds do congregate before, during, or after a game, the police will monitor the gathering to ensure the safety of everyone.”
This isn’t the first time the UMass faithful erupted in riots, when the Boston Red Sox lost in the 2008 playoffs and throughout the Sox’s 2007 World Series run, the students showed their Boston pride.
In 1986, after the Red Sox’ World Series defeat, a shouting match between hundreds of students escalated into racial altercations.
In that incident, a black student was charged by 15-20 white students and beaten unconscious with golf clubs and baseball bats.