Boston Mayor Thomas Menino, facing questions over inadequate police response to local chaos after the New England Patriots won the Super Bowl, blames local colleges and a new law allowing the sale of liquor on Sundays, reports the Boston Globe. “I am angry because once again a few knuckleheads were ruining it for the majority of the kids,” Menino said. “I’m calling all the universities in to talk to them about their safety plans, how we deal with this in the future. They have to be responsible for their students.”
Thousands of people swarmed the streets after the game Sunday night, setting bonfires, overturning cars, and clogging major streets. One man was killed and three others were injured when an SUV driver, allegedly intoxicated, drove into a crowd near Northeastern University. Despite assurances by Boston police that they would move in quickly at the first sign of trouble, witnesses said that in some cases police did little.
City Councilor Michael P. Ross called the police response inadequate. “When you have tens of thousands of students terrorizing the neighborhoods, you need to have the resources in place. We didn’t have enough personnel out there,” he said.
Thomas Nee, president of the Boston Police Patrolmen’s Association, said the department was caught off guard and that the streets were greatly understaffed. An estimated 12 police officers initially faced off with 3,000 people in the Kenmore Square area.
Acting Police Commissioner James Hussey said that there were enough officers on patrol, but that the revelers were difficult to control. “We had many more people out there … who had destruction on their mind and weren’t conforming to the police direction and obviously showed violence toward the police,” he said.