BOULDER, Colo. — Police say violence and destruction broke out as officers worked to break up a party involving hundreds of people near the University of Colorado Boulder on Saturday.
Police say three officers were injured after they were struck with rocks and bricks. Boulder Police Chief Maris Herold said they are lucky there were not more serious injuries considering the amount of projectiles and force of the crowd. She said all officers are recovering and doing OK at this time with minor injuries.
Videos shared on social media show people flooding a street in an area known as University Hill. Most were not wearing masks or social distancing despite the coronavirus pandemic.
At one point, Chief Herold says about 100 people came toward officers.
At least one car was damaged and flipped over. Police say an armored rescue vehicle and a fire truck sustained heavy damage, as well as other vehicles belonging to residents.
Police say they are reviewing body camera and social media images to identify those responsible.
Boulder District Attorney Michael Dougherty said his office will work with police in the identification process. He released the following statement Sunday:
“Our community was put at risk last night by the individuals involved in the incident in the Hill area. Their callous disregard for our community’s safety and well-being is shameful. There is no excuse for this conduct, especially while the people of this community endure the pandemic. The District Attorney’s Office will work closely with the Boulder Police Department to determine the identities of the people who damaged private property and assaulted first responders because they should be held fully responsible for their outrageous actions.”
Dougherty said it is a mistake to classify what happened as a "party," saying it may have started as a party but "you don't flip over a car at a party."
Boulder County public health officials say they will track COVID-19 cases in the next few weeks and look for any increase among certain age groups that could be linked back to this event.
The university says anyone who engaged in violence towards law enforcement or first responders will be removed and not readmitted. CU Boulder released the following statement Saturday night.
We are aware of a large party on University Hill on Saturday evening and allegations of violence toward police officers responding to the scene. We condemn this conduct. It is unacceptable and irresponsible, particularly in light of the volume of training, communication and enforcement the campus and city have dedicated to ensuring compliance with COVID-19 public health orders. CU Boulder will not tolerate any of our students engaging in acts of violence or damaging property.
CU Boulder has made it clear to our student body that following county public health orders is required under the student code of conduct. The vast majority of our students have followed these directives. When health officials and police have referred public health order violations to our student conduct office, CU Boulder has responded quickly and imposed discipline when violations were established. Disciplinary actions include interim exclusions from campus and 45 suspensions so far this academic year. We will continue to take these actions to make clear that protecting our community and our campus is of utmost importance and that we will not tolerate such violations. Any student who is found responsible for having engaged in acts of violence toward the law enforcement or other first responders will be removed from CU Boulder and not readmitted.
We appreciate the efforts of law enforcement to address the unacceptable conduct of these students and apologize to the residents of University Hill for their behavior.
We condemn the conduct on University Hill on Saturday. Any student found responsible for acts of violence toward law enforcement or first responders will be removed from CU Boulder and not readmitted.— CU Boulder (@CUBoulder) March 7, 2021
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