'They'll Come When It's Safe': Police Fail To React As Partiers Damage Cars

Several property owners are still assessing the damage from a block party in Columbus, Ohio that left lawns littered with trash and cars destroyed. The event in question is commonly known as ChittFest, a party that takes place the same day as the Ohio State Buckeyes' spring football game. This year, the event attracted nearly 1,000 college students. In the midst of partygoers, crowds left trash on the front laws of homes and several cars were turned over with their windows broke. Ohio State University Senior Lauren Taras documented an instance in which her 2016 red Chevy Cruz was turned over with the license plate stolen.

Taras told The Columbus Dispatch that she attempted to call the police, but dispatch refused to send officers. Police did not arrive to break up the crowd until 3 a.m., four hours after she called.

"The police dispatcher told me, and I quote, 'They have other things to worry about and they'll come down when it's safe for them,'" Taras said.

"I'm really disappointed there were no police there."

Throughout the night, students and local residents tweeted out images of what took place. Given that the event takes place annually, local residents also pointed out that officers could have planned in advance. In 2001 and 2002, officers used riot gear to prevent further damage to residents' property.

"The result: many injuries, a number of arrests and dismissals from the university, hundreds of thousands of dollars in property damage and strained relationships between the community and students," a Columbus Dispatch article from 2011 stated.

Police responded with much less force than was used during the protests following the death of George Floyd. Officers were spotted physically engaging with protesters and utilizing pepper spray on several demonstrators. City officials issued a curfew and Governor Mike DeWine sent in National Guard troops to handle the matter.

"One thousand white kids destroy a street in Columbus [and] flip seven cars. Cops refuse[d] to show up [and said] 'They’ll come down when it's safe for them.' These [are] the same cops using tear gas [and] force against BLM protester," Laurenn McCubbin tweeted.

During the city's protest movement, nearly 100 people were arrested. Thus far, no one has been arrested in connection to these most recent riots.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

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