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‘A night from hell’ 

Students: Police overly aggressive during Jonesboro ‘riot.’

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“It was handled in a way that it shouldn't have been,” Ingram said. “They were very forceful when they came to us. They were very demanding and using curse words and pushing. It was a night from hell.”  Ingram said that she never saw Jeffery Boyd or anyone else assault an officer, and disputes the claim that the crowd threw rocks or bottles at police on the scene. “There was nothing like that happened,” she said. “There were no rocks and bottles thrown. This was at an apartment complex. It's grass out there. There's no rocks out there anywhere.”

Chelsea Adams, a senior psychology major at ASU who lives at The Grove, also said that she never saw bottles or rocks thrown at officers. She believes that politics played a large part in the events of that night. “A lot of people here [in Jonesboro] have made it clear that they were very angry that Obama won,” she said. “And I think that part of what happened to us that night was that a lot of people were mad that a black man is now president. We were there, and we were the ones they could take it out on.”

Adams said the crowd was peaceful until the large force of officers arrived, including an instance in which they complied with Officer Brumfield's request to turn off a car stereo because of resident complaints. Soon after officers arrived en masse, Adams said, cops began arresting students out of the crowd seemingly at random. Adams said she never saw Jeffery Boyd pin the female officer to the ground and repeatedly punch her, though she said she did see Boyd on the ground surrounded by up to 10 officers who were punching and kicking him. Since then, she said, she has watched a video of the event taken by one of those in the crowd, and says it shows the female officer calmly walking away as Boyd is being beaten.

“She just walks off like nothing is wrong,” Adams said. “I'm sure that if somebody pounded you in your face or pinned you down to the ground, you wouldn't be able to just jump up like nothing is wrong with you and walk off.” Jeffery Boyd refused to talk about the incident, citing the advice of his attorney.

Jonathon Burns was one of the last suspects arrested that night. A 19-year-old sophomore at ASU, Burns is listed in one officer's incident report as someone who “played a large part in the disruptive behavior of the crowd,” and who had shouted obscenities at the police. Like Adams, Burns said that officers seemed to make random arrests that night. Burns said that he and a friend were making their way to an apartment to get inside when they saw a man getting handcuffed. “His cousin came out, talking about, ‘What'd he do? What'd he do?' ” Burns said. “About five minutes later, another cop ran up and pointed at me and said, ‘He started everything. Get him too.' I'm looking around to see who he's talking to, and one of my friends said, ‘Burns, be quiet.' I looked at my chest, and there were some lasers on my shirt from their tasers, so I just put my hands behind my back.”

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