MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – The disturbance in Dinkytown Saturday night after the Gophers hockey team’s loss in the national title game is still what everyone is talking about on the University of Minnesota campus Monday.
Hundreds of people took to the streets to celebrate the Gopher men’s hockey season, even though police and the University had warned and asked everyone not to congregate. By the end of the night, 19 people were arrested and four were booked into the Hennepin County Jail.
Some students are calling the actions of police and warnings from the University over the top. While the streets of Dinkytown are now calm, the talk is still surrounding the events of Saturday.
It was a small percentage of the crowd, consisting of students and others on campus to watch the Gophers face Union for a national title that were destroying property. Police were on the streets in riot gear and on horses immediately after the game ended, working to break up the crowds.
Some students we spoke with Monday were coming up to us saying they feel things wouldn’t have escalated if police hadn’t come with riot gear ready. They said being told they couldn’t do something they felt was harmless, but made them want to do it more. But they understood why safety was such a major concern for police.
“It was crazy at first. We were just chanting and dancing, kind of yelling and having a good time and it was when the police started marching towards us when everyone kind of flew and fell. That’s when there was kind of like a mosh pit,” said one student.
“There needed to be police here but I think pushing us out of Dinkytown wasn’t that necessary. They could have contained us and kept us under control,” said another student.
Police said over the weekend they are still trying to figure out the scope of damage to property and identify anyone else who possibly acted unlawfully. They said they had plans in place to make sure everyone was safe and that’s what happened. No one got hurt, which may not have been the case without that heavy police presence.
Authorities said for now they are just focusing on anyone who was arrested but are reviewing footage to see if any more arrests can be made. Officials said before Saturday’s game people just standing in the street could be arrested, but students on campus who were bystanders said they’re not really afraid of getting into trouble.
Anyone with information on that evening is encouraged to call the MPD Tip Line at 612-692-TIPS (8477).