Opinion

Destructive celebrations correctly called riots

An editorial from The Times West Virginian

FAIRMONT, W.Va. — The aftermath of West Virginia University’s 41-27 win over No. 4 Baylor on Saturday was certainly not a celebration.

The Morgantown Police Department used the correct term: riots.

Street parties began around 10:30 Saturday night before spreading to other areas, including Morgantown’s central business district. Police responded with pepper spray and tear gas after street lights were pushed over on High Street and fencing around construction sites was destroyed.

“As a result of the dangerous behavior, the events were declared riots. The crowds failed to disperse after numerous warnings resulting in the use of pepper spray and chemical munitions,” Morgantown Police Chief Ed Preston wrote in a news release. “The use of the chemical munitions resulted in the dispersal of the various groups of rioters without any serious injuries.”

He added that people were throwing “rocks, beer bottles and other blunt objects” at both police and their vehicles and that the Morgantown Fire Department responded to several fires throughout the night.

Several people were arrested on various charges.

West Virginia University quickly and correctly responded…

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