Sheriff defends using pepper spray at Lincoln University homecoming event

3 weeks 1 day 4 hours ago Tuesday, October 22 2019 Oct 22, 2019 Tuesday, October 22, 2019 8:23:00 PM CDT October 22, 2019 in News
By: Melody Cox, KOMU 8 Digital Producer

JEFFERSON CITY - The Cole County Sheriff's Department said Tuesday it used pepper spray at a Lincoln University Homecoming Concert event. 

According to a post on its Facebook page, the department said it was in line with its policies. 

"We react to aggression in protection of others and ourselves," Sheriff John Wheeler wrote in the Facebook post.

The department said fights started after people stole tickets, broke the line and got intoxicated. 

The fights broke a metal gate and the main doors to Jason Gym. A metal trash can was also crushed, according to the department. 

"We stand with Lincoln University on the decision to shut down this event," Wheeler wrote. "While it was the actions of the few that caused this, we cannot ignore safety risks to all of the people attending the event." 

The department said the incident at homecoming has nothing to do with how deputies feel about the university students.

"It is also important to note that during these events, predominantly, we do not have issues with Lincoln Students themselves," Wheeler wrote.

The post also said the department is already talking with the university about next year's homecoming and how both can make it "safety and more enjoyable for all."

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