Our View: Something really bad is bound to happen

DKS Editors

Sometime around the middle of the afternoon, standing in the middle of the massive crowd, in the middle of College Avenue, the collective mood of the party shifted to sour. It’s hard to pinpoint when exactly that was, but as small, contained brawls broke out in yards, police at the dead end of the street began to prepare in riot gear and formation.

It was a recipe for disaster, as the common enemy emerged. Throwing bottles at this enemy was no longer an extreme thing to do. The police, facing nothing short of a mob cautiously kept its distance, firing tear gas and flashbangs. Some projectiles exploded in the street where the most aggressive participants screamed taunts, but some snaked into yards and between houses, chasing back toward Franklin Hall.

Ultimately the police, aided by the SWAT team, won. Party-goers were mostly cleared out by nightfall and College Avenue returned to normal, but not without some blood spilling and close calls.

Just like every other year.

Much of the action was captured by Daily Kent Stater photographers, but these events happen quite a lot here at Kent State. And whether the partying students or police forces admit it or not, we can tell from experience that the likelihood of something really bad happening is rising.

There are worse things than getting tear-gassed, yes. Hearing eventually returns after a flashbang explodes. But it only takes one mistake — one human error — to create a catastrophic, violent tragedy.

And what for?

What happened Saturday afternoon and evening wasn’t special or significant or even representative of any movement. Nothing meaningful came from these fights. There is no dignity found in these bloody faces and these burning eyes.

If anything, it was one of the luckiest moments in our history that something worse didn’t happen. The danger is real. Let’s put down the bottles.

The above editorial is the consensus opinion of the Daily Kent Stater editorial board.