Police attribute slow riot response to lack of funds


University of Minnesota police said Tuesday that a lack of funding restricted Minneapolis’ police ability to quickly respond to Saturday’s Dinkytown riot, which also resulted in police issuing fewer minor consumption tickets.

University police issued only three underage consumption tickets over the course of Spring Jam weekend — four less than last year, according to University police.

University and Minneapolis police arrested 12 people near campus throughout the weekend, though no charges have been filed. All of the arrestees were male.

Due to Minneapolis’ police lack of funding, its ability to respond quickly was restricted. The incident occurred off campus, which falls under Minneapolis Police Department’s jurisdiction, though UMPD helped respond.

The Minneapolis City Attorney’s office said the city has not yet made police complaints available to the public because they are reviewing content from the police forces’ reports.

None of the arrestees would comment for the story.

University police Deputy Chief Chuck Miner called the number of minors “small,” and attributed it to the absence of a party patrol, the additional officers sometimes assigned to locate and break up parties around campus.

“When [police are] tied up with breaking up the riot, then that would make it difficult for them to write underage consumption citations,” he said.

Several residents on the 1300 block of Seventh St. SE — the block where the riot took place — said they were disappointed in how long it took for police to break up the gathering, which consisted of more than 500 people.

Police would have liked to have broken the party up earlier as well, Miner said, but they did not have the resources.

In the past, police were able to beef up their forces through neighborhood grant funds, he said.

In the fall, the Marcy Holmes Neighborhood Association gave $4,000 in grant money to Minneapolis police for additional party patrol officers . Miner said extra money was not available this weekend.

“It’s something beyond our control,” Miner said. “We can’t plan for a riot every day.”

Case toss

Police arrested a 21-year-old University student at 4:55 p.m. Saturday on the block the riot took place when he threw a case of beer at a police squad car, according to a police report.

The student could face a gross misdemeanor charge for obstructing legal process with force.

The squad car was not damaged by the toss, Miner said. No police officers or property was harmed during the riot, he added.

A large group of students surrounded the officers while they attempted to arrest the man. The suspect tried to avoid being handcuffed by twisting his body and flailing his arms, according to the report.

University police Sgt. Ryan Rivers said in the report that he “knew that [the officers] safety was becoming a major concern” after the crowd started to throw bottles in their direction. The man was put in a squad car with the help of another officer.

Put down the cup

Police arrested the first man of the weekend around 4:30 p.m. after he refused to stop drinking a beer on a public sidewalk near the corner of Fourth Street and 10th Avenue SE, a report stated.

Police had recently confiscated a keg and tap from a backyard party after partygoers refused to stop drinking out of it.

The man was arrested and is facing charges for obstruction without force after shouting obscenities at the officer.

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