Extra cops called out; no arrests reported
State police assist NPD
Published: Tuesday, May 3, 2011
Updated: Tuesday, May 3, 2011 04:05
As students celebrated the death of Osama bin Laden late Sunday night and early Monday morning in the streets of Newark, university police and the Newark Police Department were steps away, prepared to control the crowds if necessary.
Newark police spokesman Lt. Mark Farrall said officers on patrol observed the growing crowds on Main Street shortly after 1 a.m. and alerted other officers on duty. When police arrived, they found hundreds of students chanting and singing, but did not interfere. Police continued to monitor and follow the crowd as they traveled to prevent any problems related to the celebration, Farrall said.
As the crowd continued to grow, Farrall said Newark officers requested the assistance of the Delaware State Police as a precaution. Six troopers arrived a short time later, but did not intervene.
Lt. Robert Simpson was on campus with the university police during the night's demonstrations. Simpson said he was not originally on duty, but received a call from the sergeant in charge asking him to come to campus.
Since he goes to bed early, he said he was not aware of bin Laden's death until he arrived on campus close to 2 a.m.
Simpson said he first saw the crowd as it moved toward Laird Campus and the Independence Complex turf. The crowd then traveled south, moved past the Trabant University Center, then headed toward university President Patrick Harker's house on Kent Way.
The crowd then moved back toward the South Green.
"It ended by the fountain at the library," Simpson said. "We don't normally condone people going in the fountain, but considering everyone was well-behaved, we decided not to remove people and took on a monitoring role."
Despite the rowdy nature of the crowd, both Farrall and Simpson said there were no arrests, property damage or incidents associated with the crowd, other than the stopping of traffic on a number of Newark roads. Aside from state police, Newark and university police did not call in additional officers to assist.
Simpson estimated there were close to 1,000 students participating in the rally.
"Having been here for 23 years, it was definitely something to see […] most mobs I've encountered were more negative," he said. "This was a celebratory reaction."