8K People Gathered At A Queen's University Homecoming Party & Things Got Way Out Of Hand
A police officer was injured and the crowds reportedly became "volatile."👇
Approximately 8,000 people took to the streets of Kingston on Saturday afternoon for an unsanctioned Queen's University homecoming party.
At around 2:30 p.m., Kingston Police said a "volatile crowd" had gathered outdoors on Aberdeen Street, where projectiles had been thrown towards officers, resulting in one sustaining an injury.
Aberdeen Street has seen a volatile crowd take shape. Projectiles have been thrown towards Police on the ground with one Officer sustaining an injury.— Kingston Police (@Kingston Police) 1634405799
Around an hour and a half later, police declared the area around Aberdeen and William streets an "aggravated nuisance party." This meant it exceeded Ontario's COVID-19 gathering limits and organizers were subject to fines of up to $10,000 under the Reopening Ontario Act.
At one point, around 8,000 people were gathered near the campus of Queen's University, with many celebrating the first homecoming weekend in two years.
Fines of $2,000 were issued to people attending, hosting and partying on the street, as 40 members of the Ontario Provincial Police emergency response team attended to break up crowds, according to CTV.
@Kingstonpolice are estimating the crowd on Aberdeen Street has swelled to approximately 8000 people. Police on the ground along with assistance from City Works are attempting to keep the crowds contained.pic.twitter.com/bgXSvSns3T— Kingston Police (@Kingston Police) 1634408589
A day earlier, both Kingston Police and Queen's University officials urged students to keep their social gatherings small and avoid attending large, unsanctioned homecoming parties.
By 5:20 p.m., the aggravated nuisance party declaration had been lifted, although officers remained in the University District. Another was declared by police just before 11 p.m. in the area of University Avenue and Johnson Street.
Overnight, police said officers continued to deal with "intoxicated students that moved off the streets and into the area of Victoria Park."
@Kingstonpolice @cityofkingston Kingston Police continue to deal with intoxicated students that moved off the streets and into the area of Victoria Park.pic.twitter.com/55H0aMefew— Kingston Police (@Kingston Police) 1634449501
In response, Queen's Principal and Vice-Chancellor Patrick Deane said he felt "extreme disappointment."
In a statement, he said "[...] the last twenty-four hours have seen our community seriously disrupted by the reckless behaviour of some of our students, as well as by other individuals who came here for the sole purpose of causing trouble."
He concluded by adding, "We know the last few years have been a struggle for young people, but such behaviour is dangerous, irresponsible, and ultimately inexcusable."
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