Police fire pepper spray balls into Sox fan crowd killing girl-What are these things?

Re the story below. Why are these things legal to shoot into crowds if they can penetrate flesh and bone? Even if they are not intended to be shot into faces, you’re going to have to get them into the crowd somehow, and crowds have lots of “faces”. Seems like an unacceptably dangerous crowd control weapon.

[Police accept blame for killing Red Sox fan - 21-year-old collegian died after being shot in eye during rowdy celebration; mayor may ban alcohol](Police accept blame for killing Red Sox fan
21-year-old collegian died after being shot in eye
during rowdy celebration; mayor may ban alcohol)

They may not have a lot of crowd-control weapons options. Guns appear to be out, pepper spray and mace only work close-in (which can endanger the officer), horses are excellent for crowd control but can hust civilians and be hurt themselves, rubber bullets and bean bags have gotten bad raps recently… What should they use to disperse a violent mob?

Tragic for sure, but it isn’t safe to be hanging around a riot either.

Caveat- I participated in a riot once, when I was much younger, which is why I used the word “mob” above instead of “crowd.” The mob mentality is a scary thing. People are swept up and can do things they never would under other circumstances. I know I did.

That should say horses can HURT civilians… sory about that.

That’s why there is renewed emphasis on non-lethal weaponry. For all of the outcry over the “pain ray” it would be preferable to use this weapon instead of dangerous projectiles.

Riots are nasty things that can claim lives without police intervention. The surest way to avoid this is to not riot. If there is a riot, lives and property are spared by ending it quickly, though this may mean using painful methods and arrests.

It sucks, really it does. But it is necessary.

All you really need to do to understand this is to remember Reginald Denny. If that riot had been stopped by some pepper spray, he wouldn’t have been beaten nearly to death.

Looks like a paintball gun where the balls are filled with pepper spray instead of paint.

Paintballs can certainly be damaging with a direct hit to the face (eyes and ears, expecially).

Note:I’m unaware if this is the exact system those particular police were using at the time. I’m sure there are others.

It appears to me like the police were short handed for what they should have foreseen as a potential riot given the circumstances. Accident or not it sounds like grounds for a homicide charge. Unless of course they show that the girl is the one who threw the bottle. I doubt that is the case or it would have been mentioned.
Standing outside of a ballpark…where a ballgame was playing. That’s no place to be? Somebody messed up, that’s for sure. But it wasn’t her fault.

I feel terrible for the girl’s family. It hurts to lose somebody that unexpectedly and so needlessly. Too close to home. :frowning:
I’m sure the cop is pretty torn up about it too. A bad thing all the way around.

Is that the whole article? Where can I find a link to it? I’d like to comment, but I feel like I haven’t read all the information available. Google news had a small amount, and I guess I’ll comment based on that.

Some lives may or may not have been spared by the police actions, but her life most definitely was not. I haven’t seen any accounts that indicate this young lady was rioting. One eyewitness account said she was standing by a sausage cart. (http://news.bostonherald.com/localRegional/view.bg?articleid=50314)

If this was the case, it was the duty of the police to protect her from the rioters. Saying “The surest way to avoid this is to not riot” seems ridiculous if she was, indeed, not involved in the rioting. She was apparently doing her part already to avoid it, and she can’t be held responsible for the actions that led to her death unless they were her own actions.

Well, the sad fact is that riots can claim the lives, sometimes, of people not responsible for them.

Again, it really sucks. If the people who incited the riot could be identified, I think a murder or manslaughter charge against them would be justified.

If this projectile can kill when it strikes a person, then I don’t think it is proper to aim it at a crowd. I’d like to see more detail emerge before I cast blame. Were they celebrating or rioting? Was the shot intended for the head or was it just poor aim?

I guess “the curse” has to work itself out one way or another. :frowning:

Well, I wouldn’t get caught within ten miles of an American team victory celebration anymore. There’s always a bunch of assholes on both sides. I realize that’s an old-lady thing to say, but as I’ve gotten older, the electricity of a crowd like that just scares me.

The police were 100% wrong to do what they did. The chances of hurting someone were extremely high – much too high to even consider firing a projectile into a crowd. What the hell were they thinking?

It’s a sad state of affairs, but it’s just not safe to be involved in a celebration like that anymore. Poor kid. And her poor family. Tragic.

I think police in riot gear should be able to handle the odd bottle thrown at them. I was watching the local news after the game and there were, predictably, a few bad eggs damaging property and so forth. Chances are excellent that they will be fined or face other charges, given the amount of surveillance. I think the police probably overreacted in this case, and I hope the officer does face some kind of punishment, but generally speaking I side with the police in these cases. If people were just celebrating no cop would have felt the need to fire or supress activity. Tipping cars, damaging property, and lighting things on fire is small stuff compared to what mobs can do, but I don’t believe we should just overlook it, and it is better to handle a crowd before it gets out of control than after where many, many more people can be hurt.

I’ve spent a lot of time horseback. I can tell ya one thing in this story that should be considered by the police. Horses aren’t always predictable. Crowds and weapons and horses don’t mix well. Whether or not this has any bearing on why the police officer made such a bad shot is not known at this point but I wouldn’t be surprised.

There are other forms of transportation which will elevate a police officer above the crowd. There is plenty of riot gear which bottles are no threat. There are other non-lethal devices that can be used in crowd control. I also know that hindsight is 20/20 but it doesn’t change the fact that a girl is dead who should NOT be. She was at a ballgame goddamnit. There’s NO excuse.

To say, “Oh well, these things happen” isn’t an acceptable attitude. They shouldn’t happen and to simply accept this as proper behavior is UNacceptable IMHO.
Tell that to the girl’s family.

I fired pepperball guns at the National Sheriff’s Convention in 2003. They aren’t much more than a lightly modified paintball marker. The pepperballs themselves are constructed differently than paintballs, however. They’re made out of a polymer, not gelatin, and contain a powdered pepper-based irritant. They’re fairly hard and intended to cause impact pain as well as disperse the irritant. The manufacturers specifically warn against head shots.
It is a valuable and useful less-lethal tool when properly deployed. I am not sure that it was in this case.

The RIOT shouldn’t have happened.

If my life, livelihood or property are in danger, I want the cops to do something about it. If the cops feel they are in danger, they should do something about it as well.

Saying that poor girl had every right to be where she was isn’t the point. If you see trouble brewing, get out of there. It is too easy to become caught up in a bad situation simply because you are too close to the action.

The root cause of her death is the assholes who couldn’t just be happy about their team’s big win. I am sure that alcohol was a factor.

As stated earlier, don’t any of these people read the papers or watch TV? These kind of things erupt after most major sports championships. Be smart and take care of yourself, don’t just stand around gawking.

Am I saying don’t go to the game? No, but try to be smart when you do go.

There were thousands of fans at the game. There were dozens of stadium employees and people arriving to pick up their kids. There were people passing through and living nearby…whatever. The girl wasn’t even in the crowd from what I read. To blame her is just wrong.
It is the rioters who started the problem, they are to blame. But the police should be prepared for something like this. They obviously weren’t. It WAS an accident that obviously nobody anticipated. Hopefully there won’t be a next time but that won’t bring this girl back and does nothing to ease the pain her family will now suffer.
There were hundreds of people there NOT rioting. Sometimes it’s not as simple as saying RUN get outta the way. Blaming the victim is reprehensible.
It is similar to blaming a rape victim. Well she shouldn’t have been out at night OR she shouldn’t dress that way. Bad form to say the least. :frowning:

No. She wasn’t. The game was played in New York. When the Red Sox won, people took to the Boston streets to raise hell. Someone was killed earlier this year in rioting in Boston when the Patriots won the Superbowl. The Boston streets are NOT a safe place to be after one of their sports teams wins a championship. People who don’t know that are stupid.

You mention the rape victim scenario. As an example, if you knew there was a string of assaults on women at night on a college campus, and a girl goes out walking alone at night, and gets raped, you can’t blame her, but you can say she’s stupid for putting herself into danger.

Question begging.

Actually, I didn’t know that and I don’t think I’m stupid for not knowing. I’m not from Boston. I hardly think it’s fair to say that an entire world-class city is unsafe during a team’s winning championship game.

The fact is that most people got through the celebration with no problem. The police used poor judgement. Period. Even if the girl realized she was in harm’s way, it is very, very difficult to remove yourself from a crowd like that. Tons of people are pushing and moving the crowd. They had no business firing a weapon like that into a crowd. Christ! There were probably LOTS of kids in that crowd, as well! The cops were wrong.

I stand corrected. She was NOT at the game. I apparently misread something. So I guess the girl was just stupid and deserved what she got?
So sorry, my mistake. I wasn’t aware that it was common knowledge that the Boston police killed rioters. I’ll remember that next time I go there.

I could’ve sworn the story I read said she was outside the stadium near a vendors cart or something. Hey, I couldn’t care less about a damned ballgame anyway. Quit watching sports years ago. The whole thing is stupid to me. It’s like the fans actually played in the game or something. I remember Dallas fans used to (and maybe still do) act like a bunch of friggin idiots when the Cowboys would win a SuperBowl. Hell, they act that way most of the time anyway.
Soccer fans I believe are the worst. Didn’t a whole bunch of people get killed in a World Cup awhile back?

Man, y’all can have it from here. Blame the girl…yeah that’s the ticket.