Matt Agorist | The Free Thought Project | Source URL
State College, PA — In all of our years reporting on police conduct and activity at the Free Thought Project, we have never seen anything like we are reporting today. Several utterly insane videos show police officers from Penn State University using their helicopter to rain down hell from above on hundreds of students and parents alike who were tailgaiting for the game.
According to police, a group of college students involved with a fraternity were told to move from one area and relocate to another. However, according to police, this did not happen, so they escalated their tactics.
As StateCollege.com reports:
Penn State parent and tailgater Scott Olson said that early Saturday morning, a police officer asked the fraternity tailgating next to his group to move one space over. After the fraternity’s members refused to move, the officer told Olson and his group that the fraternity would be on watch for the day.
We’ve been told that the tailgate wasn’t just one fraternity, like Olson described, but a senior tailgate with members of the Greek community and that is known to be rowdy.
Olson said police didn’t check in all day, until some time between 3:30 and 4 p.m. when eight officers on horseback and 15-20 other officers showed up to disperse the frat’s tailgate. Shortly after, the helicopter flew in and made a sharp cut in Olson’s aisle, picking up tents and other debris.
The alleged rowdiness was not observed by Olson, who was right by where the chopper flew over.
“There was no fighting or big disruption. No one was doing anything crazy or outlandish. We didn’t have any issue with them all day,” said Olson, who reported a scratch to his Mercedes-Benz truck thanks to a flying tent and said a girl at his tailgate was cut on the face from debris, according to the paper.
Several videos show the intense moment the chopper began flying over the crowd, using its downwash to lay waste to tents, chairs, vehicles, and anything else in its path.
“The helicopter pilot used the p.a. to order the crowd to disperse,” the description on one of the videos said. “And then used the down draft to get the point across, blowing down canopies, etc..”
The sheer lack of concern over what the potential damage could’ve been is outrageous. People could’ve been severely injured by flying tents and debris, or worse. If the pilot would’ve lost control over the students, the results could’ve been catastrophic—especially considering the concentration of people on the ground. It could’ve been pure carnage.
“Can you imagine if a helicopter sent debris that hit a horse and it got spooked and started trampling the kids? This could’ve been a tragedy,”Olson said. “If that helicopter had any type of accident, you would’ve had people shredded everywhere and cars on fire. It’s so fortunate that there wasn’t a major tragedy yesterday.”
Naturally and insanely enough, the police are standing by their decision to endanger the lives of hundreds of people to disperse a few rowdy college kids. On Monday, they were forced to respond to the myriad of inquiries as to why they would do such a thing. They defended it.
“We understand concerns have been raised regarding police activity during tailgate celebrations in one lot, in advance of the Penn State vs. Ohio State game on Saturday (Sept. 29). University Police wishes to reassure fans that officers were responding to the circumstances on the ground, which involved numerous law violations, including serious threats to officer safety within a disorderly crowd. Unruly individuals refused to disperse following verbal commands and at least one officer suffered injuries. It is rare to resort to these expanded interventions; however, when all other warnings from the mounted police unit and officers on the ground were ignored, a Pennsylvania State Police helicopter was deployed as another tool to compel the group to disperse and curb dangerous and unruly behavior. Following the use of the helicopter, the dangerous behaviors dissipated.”
When you watch the video playlist below, decide for yourself who the ones were who exhibited the most “dangerous behaviors.”