Kingston Police grapple with unsanctioned street parties for 2nd weekend in a row

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Despite stark warnings not to gather for Queen's University homecoming last weekend, police estimated around 8,000 gathered at one point on a street in the university district Saturday, Oct. 16. This Saturday afternoon, police estimated around 3,000 people had gathered in the same area for the second weekend in a row. (Kingston police - image credit)
Despite stark warnings not to gather for Queen's University homecoming last weekend, police estimated around 8,000 gathered at one point on a street in the university district Saturday, Oct. 16. This Saturday afternoon, police estimated around 3,000 people had gathered in the same area for the second weekend in a row. (Kingston police - image credit)

Kingston Police declared an aggravated nuisance party near Queen's University Saturday afternoon, the second weekend in a row bylaw and police officers have had to grapple with large crowds near the Kingston, Ont., campus.

At about 3 p.m., Community Programs Officer Greg Anderson estimated the crowd was around 3,000 people.

"The crowd slowly moved off Aberdeen [Street]," Anderson told CBC, adding that police have put road closures in place as the crowd moves through the area.

The City of Kingston asked residents to avoid the area around Aberdeen Street between Johnson and Earl streets.

Shortly after 5 p.m., police lifted the aggravated nuisance party status, but said an officer was taken to hospital after being injured earlier in the afternoon.

2nd weekend of parties

Police laid nearly 150 fines and three charges after last weekend's homecoming parties. Kingston Police estimated that around 8,000 people gathered on Aberdeen Street last Saturday for an unsanctioned street party. At the time, Anderson said an officer was injured by a flying object.

Police are also investigating a double homicide that occurred that evening.

In a statement last weekend, Queen's principal and vice-chancellor Patrick Deane condemned "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 also warned students once again earlier this week to keep their gatherings small. "These large gatherings are not as benign as you might want to believe. There are in them other dangers to you that far exceed those related to the pandemic," he wrote Thursday.

"I therefore urge you in the strongest terms to stay safe, look after your friends and your community, and rethink your participation in these groups."

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