Footage shows police firing on a crowd of peaceful students on a porch. In shock from the violent behavior of the police, a bystander can be heard saying, “Oh my god! You’re crazy!” According to Morgantown Police Chief Ed Preston on WAJR, they fired at the young people because, “We had to clear that street.”
Hundreds of West Virginia University students gathered Friday afternoon at the top of Spruce Street, it was a snow day and they were going to go sledding. According to the police chief, “The party continued to grow and build up there on north Spruce Street.”
Authorities say city plow trucks had been attempting to get up the hill to plow the street. Students had been sledding, some even snowboarding, a mattress was on fire. Police called in for backup to take out the students.
Police shielded themselves from possible snowballs and they began to fire a barrage of ammunition against the students. Sound cannons were deployed and tear gas was reportedly fired.
The video of police firing into a peaceful crowd disturbed many. Police say they were on the receiving end of projectiles, likely snowballs. The police chief stood up for the officer’s actions, saying he was trying to fire just over the students heads.
Image: screen shot from WVU students/police confrontation