Hundreds of college-age rioters in Bellingham, Washington — home to Western Washington University — were met with pepper spray, tear gas, and a SWAT team after a party got broken up by police this weekend.
Police originally broke up a noisy house party that had attracted a few hundred people, the Seattle Times reports. The crowd, which included WWU students, then moved to a nearby park, where people began throwing bottles at the police, prompting the riot-esque response.
WWU student newspaper the Western Front has an extraordinary photo album of the ensuing 500 person riot, including shots of college-age people antagonizing the police and the SWAT team response.
In a joint university statement, the WWU president and student body president noted that while not of the three arrests made so far have been students:
Nevertheless, this “riot” in the community we are proud to call home has stunned us all, for it is so out of character. We are a university consistently recognised as the best of our type in the Pacific Northwest. Importantly in the current context, we are also a university recognised nationally, year after year, as foremost in the state of Washington for the engagement of our students in service to the community … And, should any of our students be found to have engaged in lawless and destructive behaviour, they have no place at Western.
Various photos shared on Twitter demonstrate the scale of the block party and the alleged destruction that came with it:
As well as the police response:
One popular photo on Twitter shows a college-age female twerking on a Bellingham cop car:
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