Michigan State University student riots

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Notable Michigan State University student riots occurred during the late 1990s and early 2000s (decade).[1]

1999 riot[edit]

A riot took place on and around the campus of Michigan State University in East Lansing, Michigan on the night of March 27, 1999.[2] Following a loss by MSU's basketball team to Duke University in the NCAA Final Four, between 5,000 and 10,000 students and non-students gathered throughout the outside of campus.[3] Later assessments of damages range from $250,000 to near $500,000.[1][4] 132 people were arrested, including 71 students.[1][5]

A number of news media organizations captured footage of the riot. The Ingham County prosecutor’s office issued subpoenas for this footage; the Lansing State Journal refused to comply and ten other organizations followed suit.[6] Michigan’s shield law was at issue.[6] The case wound its way through the state court system. In September 2000 the Michigan Supreme Court upheld their right to withhold the recordings.[7]

As a result of this riot, a state law was passed giving judges the discretion to bar students convicted of rioting from public colleges for up to two years.[4][8]

Riots in 1998, 2005 and 2013[edit]

Though the March 27, 1999, incident was the most serious of the campus riots during this time, it was not the first or last incidence of civil disturbance:


  1. ^ a b c "Vancouver evokes infamous sports riots". ESPN. June 17, 2011. Retrieved 2011-09-01. "Michigan State students have rioted numerous times in East Lansing in recent decades, most notably after NCAA tournament losses in 1999, 2003 and 2005. The worst of these came in '99, when 132 people were arrested and $250,000 in vandalism damage was incurred." 
  2. ^ "Spartan fans riot following Final Four loss to Duke". Sports Illustrated. March 28, 1999. Retrieved 2011-08-23. 
  3. ^ "'Celebratory riots' creating crisis on campus". USA Today. 04-09-2002. Retrieved 2011-09-01. 
  4. ^ a b "E. Lansing to prosecute students as rioters". Lansing State Journal. April 5, 2005. Retrieved 2011-08-23. 
  5. ^ "Trouble In East Lansing After NCAA Loss". CBS News. February 11, 2009. Retrieved 2011-09-01. 
  6. ^ a b "Michigan's Shield Laws - A Free or Fettered Press". Thomas M. Cooley Law School Review via HeinOnline. Retrieved 2011-08-23. 
  7. ^ "Student newspaper does not have to turn over riot photos, court rules - Judges cite state shield law in unanimous decision". Student Press Law Center. September 29, 2000. Retrieved 2011-08-23. 
  8. ^ "Rising toll of party riots troubles college campuses". Star-News. Associated Press. May 15, 2001. Retrieved 2011-08-23. 
  9. ^ Drummond, Dee. "MSU Students Teargassed During Protest on Alcohol Ban." USA Today. [Arlington, VA] 2 May 1998"
  10. ^ "Strangers raise money for MSU student's flipped car". Usatoday.com. 2013-12-10. Retrieved 2014-02-18. 
  11. ^ AlexandraSmitty. "East Lansing Police Department Does Some Professional Sleuthing Post MSU Riot". Buzzfeed.com. Retrieved 2014-02-18. 
  12. ^ "ELPD, MSU police offering $20,000 reward for information on 'civil disturbance'". The State News. Retrieved 2014-02-18. 
  13. ^ "'Burn this Couch' sign post removed from ELPD Facebook page". The State News. Retrieved 2014-02-18. 
  14. ^ Michigan State News Final Report

External links[edit]