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Woman dies in celebration


I give up. This board is too hard to understand.
Woman dies from injuries suffered in Boston celebration

Oct. 21, 2004
SportsLine.com wire reports

BOSTON -- A 21-year-old college student died Thursday of a head injury after a clash between police and a crowd of Boston Red Sox fans celebrating their team's victory over the New York Yankees in the streets outside Fenway Park.

Victoria Snelgrove, a journalism major at Emerson College, was shot in the eye by a projectile fired by an officer on crowd-control duty. The nature of the projectile was not immediately identified but the weapons are meant to be non-lethal.

During a news conference carried live on local television stations, Boston police commissioner Kathleen O'Toole expressed the department's sympathies to Snelgrove's family and said the agency "accepts full responsibility for the death of Victoria Snelgrove."

"The Boston Police Department is devastated by this tragedy. This terrible event should never have happened," O'Toole said.

Snelgrove was among 16 people hurt in Boston's Kenmore Square neighborhood early Thursday morning, after thousands of fans took to the streets to celebrate the Red Sox winning the American League pennant. She died at Brigham and Women's Hospital later in the day.

"It appears from evidence we have reviewed thus far that Tori was killed when she was hit in the eye by a projectile fired as officers tried to control mobs outside the ballpark," O'Toole said. "Designated officers were equipped with less-lethal systems that use projectiles designed to break upon impact, dousing the target with (pepper-like) spray."

O'Toole and Mayor Thomas Menino pledged to fully investigate the incident.

Snelgrove's father, Rick Snelgrove, expressed outrage and said his daughter did nothing wrong. Standing outside the family home in Bridgewater, he held up a photograph of his smiling daughter.

"What happened to her should not happen to any American citizen going to any type of game, no matter what," he said. "She loved the Red Sox. She went in to celebrate with friends. She was a bystander. She was out of the way, but she still got shot. Awful things happen to good people. My daughter was an exceptional person."

A police officer was among the others injured in the melee, but none of the other injuries were severe.

City officials announced there would be a heavy police presence in Kenmore Square after they were caught understaffed when riots broke out when the New England Patriots won the Super Bowl on Feb. 1.

In the Super Bowl aftermath, a 21-year-old man visiting his brother at Northeastern University was killed and a Northeastern student was critically injured when a vehicle plowed into a crowd of revelers.

The new Boston Police Command Center has been in use as the Red Sox advanced through the playoffs. Inside, police watch views from 50 cameras around the city as they coordinate with several agencies, including State Police, the Boston Fire Department and even some college police forces. It was first used during the Democratic National Convention in July. The cameras were installed on top of the ballpark and other locations.

Early Thursday morning, several small fires were set, fireworks shot into the sky, a trash can was thrown at a fast-food restaurant sign and numerous fights broke out. Boston police reported eight arrests, mostly for disorderly conduct, though one arrest was for assault and battery on a police officer.

Elsewhere, 29 people were arrested at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst after revelers threw beer cans and flaming toilet paper at police. And at the university's Dartmouth campus, about 2,000 people had to be dispersed by police using stun grenades.

In New Hampshire, police made about 15 disorderly conduct arrests as crowds swarmed the campus of Plymouth State University and surrounding neighborhoods.

Snelgrove transferred to Emerson from Fitchburg State College a year ago and was a junior majoring in broadcast journalism, said her academic adviser, Janet Kolodzy.

A memorial service was being planned and grief counselors would be on hand to help students deal with Snelgrove's death, Rosen said.
The Associated Press News Service

Copyright 2004, The Associated Press, All Rights Reserved
Scary...it could have happened to anyone. They should have been more prepared for the mobs...this could all happen again in a week if the Sox win a world series...except this time it will probably be 10 fold. I hope nobody dies...but with the way these things goes, it wouldn't suprise me if somebody did agian.
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Everyone here is so disgusted about this. On the front cover of today's Boston Herald is a picture of that girl lying bloodied in the street, and then another, more gruesome picture is displayed on the inside of the paper. I hate that paper anyway (endorsed Bush/tabloid content), but it was in poor taste, and it brought me to tears. The students need to take responsibility for their own actions and act like mature adults, but from the witness accounts it sounds like the police force's actions incited an unnecessary riot scene. No one should be getting shot in the face, but I want to reserve complete judgment until more facts are brought out. (I wasn't near Fenway that night.) This is a city of over 200,000 college students, so of course if you mix that with alcohol things have a chance of getting ugly. The whole situation is just sad. This is supposed to be a time to celebrate here, and instead we have to look at a dead college girl on the front cover of our newspaper. :(
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BuckeyeNation27 said:
sushi, what do you think of the plan to ban alcohol sales during games in the city? I can't really believe that a lack of alcohol after the yankme series wouldve produced anything different.

Thanks for mentioning that -- I meant to post it and then forgot. I think they shouldn't ban alcohol sales altogether, but many stop selling after the 6th or 7th inning. Overall, however, I think this next series of games is going to be more subdued. We already feel like we've won the World Series just from beating the Yankees (not that they're just blowing off St. Louis or anything, but there's no better feeling than seeing Jeter cry like a baby.) :)
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I was just on the Boston Herald's website and I must say that front page is the most distasteful and inapropriate thing that I have ever seen. From what I understand, there is an even more gruesome picture on page 4 that I wouldn't even want to see. There should be some action taken towards the paper and it's staff as far as fines and penalties. I am completely apalled that someone would have the indecency to print something like that. I would hate to be the parents of that poor girl.
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The entire situation makes me sick for the girl and her family. It also makes me angry about both the stupidity of fans, and the knee jerk overreactions that the local police are often guilty of.

I don't know exactly who is to blame here, but fans need to get a freakin life. I don't know why people can't have a basic respect for other people and their property.

As for the police, there is a fine line between protection and oppression. This line gets crossed far too often by people who feel their authority gives them the right to censor any action that they find displeasing. Far too often, the cops try to make a statement early to discourage rioters before things get out of hand, and I believe they sometimes use excessive force, before it becomes necessary. I hate abuse of power...maybe this will cause them to think twice about using their riot gear...these aren't nerf guns.

Thoughts and prayers to the family. The entire situation is extremely sobering. This was a girl who should've had a life to look forward to.
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Boston Paper Sorry for Graphic Fan Photo

BOSTON (Oct. 22) - The Boston Herald apologized Friday for publishing two graphic photos of a woman who died after being struck in the face with a pepper-spray-filled projectile fired by police into a crowd of celebrating fans.

The Herald was inundated with complaints, by phone and on its Web site, about the photographs of Victoria Snelgrove, 21, who had been in a crowd celebrating the Red Sox win in the American League championship against the New York Yankees.

The Herald ran a color photo on its front page, and a smaller black-and-white photo inside its Friday editions, showing Snelgrove lying on the ground, bleeding from her nose and left eye.

"The Herald today published two graphic photos that angered and upset many in our community. For that, I apologize," Herald Media Inc. Editorial Director Kenneth A. Chandler said in a statement to be published in the paper's Saturday editions.

Police Accept Blame

"Our aim was to demonstrate this terrible tragedy as comprehensively as possible. In retrospect, the images of this unusually ugly incident were too graphic."

The Boston Globe ran a smaller, black-and-white photograph inside its Friday edition. The Associated Press transmitted a color photo showing Snelgrove lying on the sidewalk.
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I don't believe they are sorry for a second. They were a typical American newspaper in the spirit of USAToday. They wanted the most shocking, most controversial picture they could find so that their rag would sell.

And now that they succeeded, they're just sad that it brought negative attention. I wonder if the bloody pictures are adding to sales, in which case we can look forward to more inappropriate pictures and more "apologies" in the future. I wonder if any newspapers feel a sense of obligation to the public or if they are all just trying to make sales.
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LoKyBuckeye said:
"The Herald today published two graphic photos that angered and upset many in our community. For that, I apologize," Herald Media Inc. Editorial Director Kenneth A. Chandler said in a statement to be published in the paper's Saturday editions.
Reminds me of when I would get in trouble as a kid and my mom would make me apologize. I would always apologize because I was sorry I got caught...not because I realized any moral wrongdoing. This is a hollow apology. The fact that they didn't have an issue with printing them in the first place is proof that they have an extremely callused view of the entire situation and they pain they would be bringing to the family. Their remorse extends only to their subscriptions.
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Here is an article that appeared in the NY Times this weekend....

Death of a Red Sox Fan Leads to Stricter Rules


BOSTON, Oct. 22 - In the wake of the death of a Red Sox fan hit by a police pepper-spray weapon after the team's playoff victory, Boston officials are imposing restrictions on the bars around Fenway Park and are considering discontinuing use of the pepper-spray gun.

The Red Sox' historic victory over the Yankees Wednesday night sent as many as 80,000 people streaming out of bars and homes into the streets around Fenway Park after midnight, many of whom climbed on cars and lampposts and swung from trees.

As the crowd grew unruly, a police officer fired the pepper-spray weapon, striking 21-year-old Victoria Snelgrove, a college student, in the eye, which caused her death several hours later. Police Commissioner Kathleen O'Toole said the department took responsibility for the death, and was investigating the incident.

Hoping to curb raucous behavior, Mayor Thomas M. Menino said Friday that during the World Series, which begins here Saturday night, bars around the baseball stadium would be monitored closely to make sure they do not allow in too many patrons or allow people to drink too much.

The mayor also said that when bars reach their legal capacity of patrons, other people will be turned away and not allowed to linger or line up outside. Television cameras will also be banned from filming inside the bars because officials believe that the cameras incite patrons to show off and act rowdier.

Mr. Menino had originally threatened to keep Fenway-area bars from serving alcohol during the World Series. But on Friday, Mr. Menino said he had met with bar owners who were angered by the threat. He said he had agreed to allow them to serve drinks if they abided by the other restrictions.

The mayor also said that more police officers would be stationed inside bars and near tourist areas. He said the measures were "part of what we're trying to do to make sure the world sees Boston in a positive manner.''

In addition, Commissioner O'Toole said Friday afternoon that she would meet with the department's tactical commanders and consider whether to stop using the pepper-spray weapon, which is a paintball-like gun that fires plastic balls filled with a variant of cayenne pepper.

At least one expert, Melvin L. Tucker, a criminal justice and security consultant from Morristown, Tenn., who is a former police chief, said that the pepper-spray guns are "less than lethal" weapons designed to be fired at the ground or at a person's chest or lower, so that the plastic balls will break open and send a cloud of pepper spray into a person's face, causing burning and stinging that should stop the person's actions but should not kill.

"It's a real tragedy, which means either that the equipment was used not in accordance to training or the manufacturer's recommendation or it was inaccurate in the way it was fired," said Mr. Tucker, who said he did not know of any other deaths caused by the weapon. "The protocol is you don't shoot if you're going to hit the person in the head or neck area because that can be lethal, as it was in this case."

The death of Ms. Snelgrove, a journalism student at Emerson College, has cast a cloud on the euphoria over the Red Sox victory and prompted some people to accuse the police of overreacting in trying to control the crowds.

Danielle Kotzias, 22, a classmate of Ms. Snelgrove, said, "The people who were supposed to protect us in that crowd, the police, used quote-unquote nonlethal weapons - those nonlethal weapons killed my friend.''

The weapons were bought by the police department for the Democratic National Convention this summer but were not used then.

Commissioner O'Toole said that police officers used "great restraint" in trying to control the crowd after Wednesday's game. She said they decided to use the pepper-spray gun after some fans started throwing bottles and lighting fires in the street.

"We maintained our cool until the fires started and the vandalism started and people threw projectiles at police and others in the crowd," she said. "We considered this option better than nightsticks and clubs."

The commissioner added: "We want to use the least force necessary in order to maintain the crowd. Very unfortunately, it resulted in a horrible action.''

Tension over the death seemed to grow on Friday, in part because The Boston Herald published a graphic front-page photograph of Ms. Snelling bleeding in the street and an even starker picture inside the paper. Outraged readers flooded the newspaper's phone lines and Web site with complaints, calling the photographs tasteless, inflammatory and offensive.

Kenneth A. Chandler, The Herald's editorial director, issued an apologetic statement, saying "our aim was to demonstrate this terrible tragedy as comprehensively as possible. In retrospect, the images of this unusually ugly incident were too graphic."

On Friday, bar owners said they were committed to enforcing the new rules.

"We're intent on having a good, safe environment in licensed establishments during the series," said Patrick Lyons, who owns several bars and nightclubs near the stadium.

But Mayor Menino and other officials also emphasized on Friday that students at the city's numerous colleges, who made up the majority of the Wednesday-night crowd, should exercise restraint and responsibility during the World Series. The mayor met with student representatives on Thursday, and several Red Sox players made public service television announcements that asked fans to temper their enthusiasm with self-control.

"We can't do it alone," Commissioner O'Toole said. "We need members of the community, particularly kids, to step up the responsibility. I appeal to them, let's learn from this tragedy."
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