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Originally published February 20, 2008 at 12:00 AM | Page modified February 20, 2008 at 1:32 PM

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Concerts suspended at Evergreen following disturbance

Concerts have been banned at The Evergreen State College pending a campus security review following a disturbance in which a Thurston County...

OLYMPIA — Concerts have been banned at The Evergreen State College pending a campus security review following a disturbance in which a Thurston County sheriff's car was overturned and looted.

At a meeting of hundreds of students, faculty and staff in a lecture hall, Vice President of Student Affairs Arthur Costantino said Tuesday the review will be made by a committee headed by Phyllis M. Lane, dean of student and academic support services.

"We need to be begin to look at how we do concert planning," Costantino said

The panel will work as quickly as possible with an eye to resuming concerts on campus, Costantino said.

Disorders erupted early Friday after a performance by the hip-hop group Dead Prez. A sheriff's patrol car was overturned, a laptop and radar gun from the vehicle were stolen and state troopers reported widespread rock throwing but no one was injured.

Sheriff's Lt. Christopher Mealy said four patrol cars in all were damaged. He estimated the repair costs at $35,000 to $50,000.

Students and law enforcement officers came in for criticism at the forum.

"There should be no fear on our campus. This instilled fear in our officers as well as students that day," said Victor Sanders, a student.

A professor, Peter G. Bohmer, voiced concerned about the increasing reliance on police to control crowds.

"I urge people not to cooperate with police," Bohmer said. "I think we need to handle this among ourselves, instead of having a community of other people handle it."

Others said the distrust of police resulted from protests outside the Port of Olympia in November, when 17 people were arrested in protests against the shipment of military hardware for a unit from Fort Lewis that recently had returned from Iraq.

In a separate videoconference, Scott Beibin of the Evil Twin Booking Agency in Philadelphia, Dead Prez's management group, told students the hip-hop group's concert at the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma this Friday has been postponed although the Evergreen disturbance was the first involving the group in 10 years of releasing music.

"Every single show, people are expressing concern that there will be a riot," Beibin said.

Copyright © 2008 The Seattle Times Company

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