What was supposed to be a celebration for University of Maryland students turned violent when police sprayed them with pepper spray to break up the festivities.
The University of Maryland says that it is now investigating why officers used excessive force while breaking up an on-campus graduation party Saturday night, according to Fox5 DC. Videos began springing up on Twitter late Saturday night, when students, who were at the party, tweeted the chaos showing several officers followed by a group of students screaming and coughing as they ran from an apartment building.
As people are leaving the party the police start pepper spraying for no reason... https://t.co/03dNmmxuAG— Top 5️⃣ (@Top 5️⃣) 1463812822.0
According to the University of Maryland Police Department, dispatchers received a call at approximately 1:45 a.m. complaining about the noise. Two students were arrested for disorderly conduct, but most students told local reporters they don't understand why the crowd was pepper-sprayed.
"They were being very forceful," Theo Scoulios, who served as the DJ of the party explained. "Using their arms to throw people, and then at that point, they start to mace everybody. To me, it seemed as if it was a little-- not a little-- a lot excessive."
Student Naya Frasier said she was trying to get away from the crowd in the hallway when suddenly saw and heard a friend screaming. Other students were falling to the ground holding their eyes in pain.
"This wouldn't have happened if this was a white party, and it makes me sick to say that," said Courtney Humphrey, a UMD graduate.
UMD President Wallace Loh tweeted, "We are reviewing video footage from last night's incident at Courtyards. I have asked for a swift and transparent review and assessment."
Officers were wearing body cameras and surveillance footage on campus is also available but it has not been released to the public.