University of Maryland Police are investigating whether the use of pepper spray to break up an off campus graduation party was justified.
Police said around 1:45 Saturday morning officers were called to a loud party and possible fight in an apartment in the 8500 block of Boteler Lane. According to police, when officers arrived they were flagged down by people in the parking lot who said there was fight inside and someone had a baseball bat.
Police decided to the shut the party down, but had a difficult time getting people to leave the apartment. Police said an officer used pepper spray inside the building after being surrounded by a large group of people.
Police used pepper spray a second time in the parking lot during another confrontation.
Two people were arrested during the incident.
Students are speaking out on social media saying the use of pepper spray was racially motivated.
— christine.jpg (@gtfugh) May 21, 2016
University of Maryland President Wallace Loh said he personally reviewed footage from the incident with UMPD Chief of Police David Mitchell.
I understand the anger and frustration. I remain very committed to fairness and transparency. Have asked UMPD for a thorough review
— Wallace D. Loh (@presidentloh) May 21, 2016