Just hours before the student celebration at the Ohio Union Friday, a student group released a statement chiding Columbus police for their tactics on January 12th.
On the night of January 12th, after the OSU Buckeyes win over the Oregon Ducks, students and fans took to the streets to celebrate.
During that celebration there were just under 90 fires set, and a handful of arrests by police.
A short time into the celebration there were reports of officers using pepper spray against the growing crowds. SWAT officers were also dispatched to the area and used tear gas after warning crowds to disperse.
While some property owners applauded officers, student criticism of their tactics grew as fast as the celebrating masses.
The next day many questioned the police response and called for an internal investigation. Chief Kim Jacobs stood behind the officers’ actions. Days later, Jacobs called for an internal investigation.
On Friday, the Ohio State Undergraduate Student Government said in a release, “(The USG) was alarmed by and disappointed in the chosen tactics…” Further, “CPD should have taken advanced preparation for the events that followed the game. Though pedestrian traffic blocked vehicular traffic that night, more peaceful solutions – like redirecting traffic from a portion of High St., a common practice many times per year – could have averted crisis.”
Click HERE to read the entire statement by the USG.
A Columbus spokesperson tells NBC4 the Division, and it’s request, had a meeting today with the USG.
The spokesperson says that the student group wouldn’t be a part of future tactic planning and response, but did want to work with students on other issues that impact them.
One of the things included in that, finding venues where students can be and not be in huge crowds along busy roads like High Street.
Both sides say they felt the meeting was positive and there was some middle ground.
Because so many officers were involved, this review will get far more eyes on it than a violent crime would.