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Ahead of Capitol Riot, Police Miscalculated Risk

Actions taken by law enforcement before Trump supporters stormed building backfired

Updated Jan. 8, 2021 1:54 pm ET

U.S. officials said they underestimated the potential for Trump supporters to become a mob who quickly seized the U.S. Capitol for hours, making a series of decisions before the attack that backfired spectacularly.

“We have a lot of lessons to learn from this,” said the acting U.S. attorney in Washington, D.C., Michael Sherwin, at a briefing Thursday.

In the days before the Capitol rioting, law-enforcement officials were alerted to a noticeable uptick in online discussions about Wednesday’s pro-Trump protests potentially becoming unruly and targeting the building where Congress would count electoral votes.

On Monday, several posters in the chat room said Trump supporters planned to force an evacuation of the Capitol as lawmakers voted to affirm President-elect Joe Biden’s victory in the Electoral College. Multiple posters on a site created last year——also discussed storming the Capitol in the days leading up to Wednesday’s attack.

LAPD: 76 arrested after Lakers celebration turns ‘confrontational, violent and destructive’

LAPD: 76 arrested after Lakers celebration turns ‘confrontational, violent and destructive’

Yahoo Sports October 12, 2020

after a celebration of the Los Angeles Lakers championship turned into “confrontational, violent and destructive behavior,” the department said.” data-reactid=”16″>The Los Angeles Police Department arrested 76 people after a celebration of the Los Angeles Lakers championship turned into “confrontational, violent and destructive behavior,” the department said.

took to the streets around Staples Center in downtown Los Angeles after the Lakers dominated Game 6 to win their 17th NBA title on Sunday night. Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti repeatedly asked fans not to do so due to COVID-19 safety regulations, but they did anyway and created problems.” data-reactid=”17″>Lakers fans took to the streets around Staples Center in downtown Los Angeles after the Lakers dominated Game 6 to win their 17th NBA title on Sunday night. Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti repeatedly asked fans not to do so due to COVID-19 safety regulations, but they did anyway and created problems.

LAPD: Buildings damaged, officers injured in Lakers celebration

The LAPD gave an update Monday morning on Twitter saying there were 76 total arrests for vandalism, assault on a police officer and failure to disperse.

Get your Los Angeles Lakers championship gear right here!]” data-reactid=”24″>[Yahoo Store: Get your Los Angeles Lakers championship gear right here!]

Two members of the crowd were injured by “less lethal munitions fired by our officers” and were taken to the hospital, according to the LAPD. Eight officers were injured and received medical treatment and more than 30 buildings and establishments were damaged by the crowd, according to the LAPD.

Last night’s largely peaceful celebration in Downtown LA of the Lakers championship turned into confrontational, violent & destructive behavior.

Latest details:

76 arrested

30+ buildings damaged

8 officers injured

2 injured by less lethal munitions fired by our officers

— LAPD HQ (@LAPDHQ) October 12, 2020

LAPD wrote in part:

“What started out as a largely peaceful celebration of the Los Angeles Lakers NBA championship in downtown Los Angeles, turned into confrontational, violent and destructive behavior late last night. A crowd of more than 1,000 revelers descended into the area around Staples Center after the game. Unruly individuals mixed within the crowd began throwing glass bottles, rocks and other projectiles at officers. That is when an unlawful assembly was declared, and only a limited number of people complied and began to disperse. A larger portion of the group broke off and began vandalizing businesses while continuing to engage in violent behavior, some aimed at responding officers.”

Manchester Arena Inquiry: Terror threat ‘not adequately assessed’

Four risk assessments carried out prior to Manchester Arena attack “failed to adequately assess” the terror threat at the venue, an inquiry has heard.

Security expert Colonel Richard Latham said the risk of a suicide bombing at a venue like the Manchester Arena should have been “crystal clear”.

The terror threat level at the time of the 2017 bombing was classed as severe.

The public inquiry, scheduled to last into next spring, is looking at events before, during and after the attack.

Twenty two people were killed and many more injured when Salman Abedi detonated an explosive as fans left the Ariana Grande concert.

The inquiry, which is taking place at Manchester Magistrates’ Court, heard how Mr Latham along with Dr David BaMaung have jointly analysed more than 1,000 documents relating to the Manchester Arena attack.

This has accumulated in three reports, which review the adequacy and effectiveness of security at the arena, what lessons ought to be learned and what changes need to be made.

Salman Abedi seconds before blastimage copyrightGMP

image captionSalman Abedi was caught on CCTV in the City Room just seconds before he blew himself up

The owners of the arena, SMG, had responsibility for safety and security in the City Room, where the bombing happened on the evening of 22 May 2017.

But as the City Room was classed as “public space,” this meant arena security staff could interact with people but did not have the power to eject an individual and would need to escalate any suspicions to the police, the inquiry heard.

At the time of the explosion, there was not a single police officer in the City Room.

The inquiry was told if SMG wanted specific policing resources for the arena then they could have paid the police for this service.

The public inquiry follows a trial in which a jury found Hashem Abedi guilty of helping his older sibling to plan the atrocity.

The inquiry continues.

Police kick out entire SMU student section

Police kick out entire SMU student section for ignoring social distancing, mask guidelines

Jack Baer

Jack Baer

Sat, October 3, 2020, 7:09 PM EDT

The SMU student section experienced an early exit during Saturday’s game against Memphis, according to Sam Blum of the Dallas Morning News.

Police reportedly kicked out the entire section early in the first half after a large crowd of students congregated near the end zone. The vast majority of students were not wearing masks, and social distancing guidelines were obviously not being followed.

Police officers reportedly approached the perimeter of the crowd and started instructing students to leave. It’s unclear if the police department had made the decision to remove the students or were told to do so by SMU.

A large group of students reportedly remained at the top of the hill next to the end zone, but was eventually gone by the start of the second half.

SMU athletic director Rick Hart had previously pledged to tighten up its social distancing rules after similar behavior was seen during the Mustangs’ home opener last week. Hart promised to “significantly” increase the security personnel on site.

From SMU:

Whether you attended in person or watched online, you could see that the majority of fans in the stadium behaved responsibly and were socially-distanced and masked. That said, we will be working to adjust the behavior of a small subsection of fans who did not follow our pledge to protect, which was sent to all ticketholders.

SMU would eventually hold on to win 30-27 over Memphis. Quarterback Shane Buechele was 32-of-46 for 474 passing yards and three touchdowns.

When will concerts return to Connecticut? Phase 3 OKs live music with unknown limitations

When will concerts return to Connecticut? Phase 3 OKs live music with unknown limitations

Hartford Courant |

Jul 04, 2020

As coronavirus cases surge across the country, Gov. Ned Lamont pushed back aspects of Connecticut’s reopening Thursday, bringing more uncertainty to the question of when live music might return to Connecticut stages.

“I do think that indoor venues will be able to open in Phase three,” David Lehman, commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development, said Tuesday. “The real question, if we move forward, is capacity. … When you start talking about events at the XL Center or other large indoor events where there’s a high risk of co-mingling, I don’t think that’s going to happen given the risk profile.”



On Wednesday, Gov. Ned Lamont indicated he might “pause” Connecticut’s reopening and “err on the side of caution,” as COVID-19 cases surge in other states. Lamont, who has been among the country’s most cautious governors in moving to reopen, did not allow the state’s bars to reopen and said Thursday they would likely not reopen this summer.

The Phase three reopening slated for later this month was to include bars, indoor event spaces and allow large outdoor events of up to 100 people.

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Amid the evolving strategy, Lehman said he believes reduced-capacity outdoor concerts will remain the safest way to hear live music. He has been speaking with performing art center and venue owners and estimated that guidance for business owners will be finalized by July 10.

“Indoor arts centers are very important to the economy, but we’re just going to be more measured in terms of the amount of people that are allowed there, given what we think of the heightened risk.”


00:00 01:45

The uncertainty has made it difficult for venues to plan. Though many events have been canceled, a few remain scheduled for the end of July.

In this 2018 file photo, concert-goers line up for the Farm Aid concert at the Xfinity Theatre in Hartford. The venue still has concerts slated to be held in late July.
In this 2018 file photo, concert-goers line up for the Farm Aid concert at the Xfinity Theatre in Hartford. The venue still has concerts slated to be held in late July. (Melanie Stengel / Special to the Courant)

Live Nation, which operates two of the state’s largest venues — the XFINITY Theatre, a 30,000 capacity indoor-outdoor amphitheater in Hartford, and the indoor Toyota Oakdale Theatre in Wallingford — declined to comment for this story. As of Tuesday, there were still shows listed on the venues’ websites scheduled for July and August.

Keith Mahler, president of Premier Concerts, which operates the Space Ballroom in Hamden and College Street Music Hall and still-unopened Westville Music Bowl in New Haven, said “there’s nothing to contemplate” about re-opening until the state outlines its requirements.

“We fully expect to comply with all orders when they’re promulgated,” Mahler said.

Cafe Nine and Infinity Hall also follow a long list of canceled and postponed events with shows that will go forward at the end of July, should reopening guidelines allow it.

The situation for Connecticut venue owners mirrors what’s happening around the country. At the beginning of the shutdown, College Street Music Hall and the Space Ballroom joined the National Independent Venue Association (NIVA), a new lobbying effort for independent music venues with close to 2,000 members across the country, according to the organization.

On Tuesday, NIVA sent a letter to Congress requesting federal assistance for independent music venues and promoters. The letter was signed by more than 600 artists.

“We are asking you to support NIVA’s request for assistance so these beloved venues can reopen when it’s safe and welcome us and our fans back in,” the letter states. “The collapse of this crucial element in the music industry’s ecosystem would be devastating.”

In this photo from January, the auditorium of College Street Music Hall is lined with folding chairs on its first floor as part of an on-going renovation.
In this photo from January, the auditorium of College Street Music Hall is lined with folding chairs on its first floor as part of an on-going renovation. (Kassi Jackson / Hartford Courant)

For some venue owners, reopening to less that a full house simply isn’t worth it.

“If we don’t sell 200 tickets, there’s not enough money to pay for all the expenses with the bands and everything else,” said Gary Cardillo, owner of Bridge Street Live in Collinsville. “Are you going to double your ticket price or food price? None of that makes sense. We’re kind of in that limbo situation where it really doesn’t look good no matter which way we play it.”

As he deals with cancellations and re-booking artists, Cardillo said he’s been reluctant to schedule any new shows. He communicates with patrons who still hold tickets to canceled shows about new dates and refunds.

“People have been really nice. We’ve only been asked for a couple refunds. Mostly everybody else is holding on to tickets in support of the music. But there’s no guarantees as to what’s going to take place in the fall.”

John Reid, producing artistic director at Fairfield Theatre Company, said he’s waiting for state guidelines before making concrete plans for his two venues — The Warehouse, capacity 640, and the 220-seat StageOne. Restrictions on capacity will also determine what types of acts he can book.

“Right now we’re reviewing what needs to be done to prepare our facilities,” Reid said, including adding hand sanitizer stations and sneeze and counter guards for points of customer contact, buying PPE and reviewing security procedures. FTC is also working to make things safer for touring artists.

“We’ve actually done some configuration of our green rooms and dressing rooms to make sure artists have absolute sort of privacy, the ability, if you will, to quarantine backstage while they’re here and be among their fellow band members,” Reid said.

Fairfield Theatre Company is rearranging its green rooms, adding hand sanitizer stations, and buying PPE to prepare their facilities for both artists and patrons.
Fairfield Theatre Company is rearranging its green rooms, adding hand sanitizer stations, and buying PPE to prepare their facilities for both artists and patrons. (Sabrina Herrera)

FTC has also joined NIVA, and Reid feels the venue’s needs are well represented in the decision-making process, though he’s had limited contact with anyone at the state level. Without help, he said, venues can’t hold on forever.

“If we’re operating at significantly reduced capacity, then the economics of the shows just don’t work,” Reid said. “The artists are reasonably looking for a decent payday. We have to pay all the costs of the show. When we’re looking at that, I will say that reduced capacity is certainly preferable to no capacity, but ultimately we’re going to have a lot of challenges.”

“If independent venues are not allowed to program and do shows, music, comedy, things like that, a matter of several months, then you can expect that many of them will have a hard time surviving.”

Like venue owners, touring musicians are similarly facing a long period of uncertainty.

“The last time I spoke to a couple of booking agents, they’re all operating under the understanding that everyone is going to be getting significantly less money, because this is a unique scenario,” said Carlos Wells, owner of The State House (max. capacity 250) in New Haven.

As Phase 3 emerges, a popular band that would ordinarily pack The State House won’t see as many faces, and that affects its bottom line. “Maybe 20% of their audience will still come out, or maybe more,” Wells said. “There are going to be a lot more door deals and a lot less touring, just because bands are going to be like, is it worth it for us to get in the van and travel?”

In recent months, Wells said he’s had a handful of interactions with the state regarding guidelines.

“In all communications I’ve gotten from the state and economic development, people will just give you the broad strokes, and then go palms up when you ask them for more details,” he said.

In this 2018 file photo, concert-goers enjoy the annual Hartbeat Music Festival outdoors at Hartford's Riverfront Plaza.
In this 2018 file photo, concert-goers enjoy the annual Hartbeat Music Festival outdoors at Hartford’s Riverfront Plaza. (Sean Patrick Fowler)

Gil Fried, chair of the sport management department at the University of New Haven, said cleaning and distancing policies at indoor venues will have to be strictly enforced by the state to have any positive effect on health outcomes during Phase 3.

“If you’re a nightclub and people are dancing, people are going to be constantly moving,” Fried said. “You can’t force six feet of separation. Do they have enough room at a venue like Toad’s Place or some these other smaller venues to effectively do that and still make a profit?”

Fried, an expert on stadium safety and risk management, said there are typically 50 touch points when spectators enter a stadium or arena. He’s also aware of new technologies — drones to sanitize entire stadiums, UV lights hooked up to trailers to clean football fields and Astroturf — to facilitate the return to large concert venues.

Smaller places, Fried said, will have to step up their cleaning procedures, and that goes against the culture of “dive bar,” where often owners don’t have the financial means to install expensive air cleaners or HVAC filtration systems.

“We’re used to seeing Sam Malone in Cheers cleaning the bar with a rag,” Fried said. “That ain’t going to cut it. You’re going to have to show that you take steps to make sure it’s as clean as possible.”

Paul Mayer, owner of Cafe Nine in New Haven since 2003, said he’s used to the typical ebbs and flows of the music scene. “Our business goes up and down, and it’s stronger some years than others,” Mayer said, “but this is impressive. There’s a complete shut down, and everybody is put on hold.”

Cafe Nine typically offers live music seven days a week. Mayer said he’ll attempt to return to live shows in July but with a reduced calendar, focusing more on local acts.

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Patrons will have to sit at one of the small number of tables inside the already-cramped venue, with limited service at the bar. The audience will be adequately distanced from the performers. Mayer is thinking of putting shields on the mic stands that can be changed out and sanitized between acts.

So far, Mayer hasn’t been proactive about making suggestions to the state or seeking out guidance. His attitude has been “wait and see.”

Whether his efforts succeed or fail, Mayer said, depends on “people’s psychological attitudes, as far as how comfortable they’re gonna be coming into a space the size of Cafe Nine, or into even a larger venue, where people may not be able to space themselves to the distance as recommended.”

“You go to festivals or big concerts, and people are close together,” Mayer said. “We’re shoulder to shoulder, and to me, that’s the experience of rock ‘n’ roll, getting into the crowd, getting surrounded by the music and the feel of the people around you. I don’t know that we’re going to be able to get to that point for some time.”

Courant staff writer Christopher Arnott contributed to this story.

Michael Hamad can be reached at

What fans need to know about coronavirus

From MLB

By Andrew Simon @AndrewSimonMLB
March 21, 2020

Major League Baseball, in response to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, has suspended the remainder of Spring Training games and has delayed the start of the 2020 regular season. The decision came after discussions with all 30 teams, as well as the MLB Players Association.

While the season initially was delayed for two weeks, it was pushed back further on Monday, in response to updated recommendations issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which urged a restriction on events of more than 50 people for the next eight weeks.

“MLB will keep fans updated on decisions regarding plans for the 2020 schedule in the days and weeks ahead,” the league stated in a release. “The Clubs remain committed to playing as many games as possible when the season begins. We will continue to monitor ongoing events and undertake the precautions and best practices recommended by public health experts, and urge all baseball fans to follow suit. MLB extends its best wishes to all the individuals and communities who have been impacted by the coronavirus.”

For the players preparing for a new season, and the fans excited for Opening Day, the longer wait for baseball’s return will be a difficult one. But the most important thing is that everyone does their best to protect their health, as well as the health of their family, friends and communities.

To that end, here is a breakdown of what you need to know about coronavirus, and recommendations for staying safe during this time, via the experts at the World Health Organization (WHO) and CDC.

What are coronavirus and COVID-19?
Coronavirus is a general term for a family of viruses, several of which are known to cause respiratory infections in humans. This current outbreak — which began in Wuhan, China, in December — was caused by a novel (not previously identified) coronavirus that the WHO named coronavirus disease 2019 (abbreviated COVID-19).

Players react to coronavirus, delay of Opening Day

How does COVID-19 spread?
The virus is transmitted through respiratory droplets that are produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes or exhales, though it is important to note that someone could have only mild symptoms — or perhaps even be asymptomatic — and still spread the disease. There are two main ways the transmission can occur:

1) Person-to-person: This happens when people are in close contact (within 6 feet) of each other. If these respiratory droplets land in the mouths or noses of someone nearby, or are inhaled into the lungs, the virus can spread.

2) Via contaminated surfaces or objects: Respiratory droplets also can land on surfaces or objects. If a healthy person touches these, and then touches their own mouth, nose or eyes, they can become infected.

How to protect yourself
There are several things you can do, and encourage others to do, to avoid infection.

1) Keep your hands clean: Wash your hands often, especially after spending time in a public place, and before eating. Soap and water work well, but make sure to wash for at least 20 seconds and to cover all areas of your hands, including thumbs and between fingers.

If soap and water are not available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent alcohol.

2) Avoid touching your face: As much as possible, try not to touch your eyes, nose and mouth, especially if you have not washed your hands recently.

3) Keep surfaces and objects clean: This applies particularly to things you touch all the time, such as doorknobs, countertops, faucets, and even phones. Use water and detergent or soap to clean, and disinfect with EPA-registered household disinfectants.

4) Keep your distance: Practice social distancing. Avoid close contact with anyone who is sick, or who is coughing or sneezing, and refrain from gathering with large groups.

5) Stay home: Work from home, if it is possible to do so, and avoid spending unnecessary time in crowded public locations, for example by ordering takeout or delivery instead of eating in a restaurant. In fact, many areas have closed or put restrictions on businesses such as restaurants and bars, or even taken more dramatic steps. A few states — including New York, California, and Illinois — have implemented various “stay at home” ordinances, telling people that they must stay inside as much as possible, with exceptions made for essential workers (for examples, doctors and nurses) and trips for essential services (food).

How to protect the people around you
Remember that we all are responsible for helping keep the people in our communities safe, using these measures.

1) Cover your mouth: If you cough or sneeze, cover your mouth with a tissue, if one is handy, and immediately dispose of it and wash your hands thoroughly. If you do not have a tissue, cover your mouth with the inside of your elbow rather than your bare hand.

2) Limit close contact: The more people stay in, avoid public settings and refrain from gathering in large groups, the better the chances of limiting the spread of COVID-19, and protecting the people who are most vulnerable. That applies even if you feel fine.

3) If you’re sick, take extra precautions: Anyone with symptoms, even mild ones, should stay home, unless you are required to leave to get medical care (before visiting your doctor, call ahead). As much as possible, limit contact with others in your household, and avoid sharing items. You also can wear a face mask when around other people.

Recognizing the symptoms
It is believed that a person may develop symptoms anytime from 2-14 days after being exposed to the virus. The most common are:

• Fever
• Fatigue
• Cough
• Shortness of breath

Who is most vulnerable?
While most people will experience only mild symptoms — and about 80 percent will recover without needing special treatment — about one in six will become seriously ill. Older adults and those who have serious chronic medical conditions are at a higher risk of developing severe symptoms.

Where to find more information
• Your local health department’s web site
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
World Health Organization

Andrew Simon is a research analyst for Follow him on Twitter @AndrewSimonMLB.

Game Zero: Spread of coronavirus linked to a Champions League game in Italy on Feb. 19

By Tales Azzoni and Andrew Dampf
Associated Press | Mar 25, 2020

It was the biggest soccer game in Atalanta’s history and a third of Bergamo’s population made the short trip to Milan’s famed San Siro Stadium.

Nearly 2,500 fans of visiting Spanish club Valencia also traveled to that Champions League match.

More than a month later, experts are pointing to the Feb. 19 game as one of the biggest reasons why Bergamo has become one of the epicenters of the coronavirus pandemic — a “biological bomb” was the way one respiratory specialist put it — and why 35% of Valencia’s team became infected.

The match, which local media have dubbed “Game Zero,” was held two days before the first case of locally transmitted COVID-19 was confirmed in Italy.

“We were mid-February so we didn’t have the circumstances of what was happening,” Bergamo Mayor Giorgio Gori said this week during a live Facebook chat with the Foreign Press Association in Rome. “If it’s true what they’re saying that the virus was already circulating in Europe in January, then it’s very probable that 40,000 Bergamaschi in the stands of San Siro, all together, exchanged the virus between them. As is possible that so many Bergamaschi that night got together in houses, bars to watch the match and did the same.

“Unfortunately, we couldn’t have known. No one knew the virus was already here,” the mayor added. “It was inevitable.”

Less than a week after the game, the first cases were reported in the province of Bergamo.

At about the same time in Valencia, a journalist who traveled to the match became the second person infected in the region, and it didn’t take long before people who were in contact with him also had the virus, as did Valencia fans who were at the game.

While Atalanta announced its first positive case Tuesday for goalkeeper Marco Sportiello, Valencia said more than a third of its squad got infected, “despite the strict measures adopted by the club” after the match in Milan.

As of Tuesday, nearly 7,000 people in the province of Bergamo had tested positive for COVID-19 and more than 1,000 people had died from the virus — making Bergamo the most deadly province in all of Italy for the pandemic. The Valencia region had more than 2,600 people infected.

Luca Lorini, the head of the intensive care unit at the Pope John XXIII hospital in Bergamo, currently has 88 patients under his care with the coronavirus; not including many more in other parts of the hospital.

“I’m sure that 40,000 people hugging and kissing each other while standing a centimeter apart — four times, because Atalanta scored four goals (the final result was 4-1) — was definitely a huge accelerator for contagion,” Lorini told The Associated Press on Wednesday.

“Right now we’re at war. When peace time comes, I can assure you we will go and see how many of the 40,000 people who went to the game became infected,” Lorini added. “Right now we have other priorities.”

Silvio Brusaferro, the head of Italy’s Superior Institute of Health, said over the weekend at the nightly nationally televised briefing by the civil protection agency that the game was “one of the hypotheses” being evaluated as a source of the crisis in Bergamo.

“It’s certainly an analysis that can be made,” Brusaferro said.

By last week, Bergamo’s cemetery became so overwhelmed by the number of dead that military trucks began transporting bodies to a neighboring region for cremation.

Italy remained the European country with the most cases, nearly 70,000, and with almost 7,000 deaths — the most worldwide and more than twice as many as China.

Spain is the next country in Europe with the most cases, nearly 48,000, and it has surpassed China in the number of deaths with more than 3,400.

More than 435,000 people worldwide have been infected and the number of dead closed in on 20,000, according to the running count kept by Johns Hopkins University. Overall, more than 100,000 have recovered.

For most people, the new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia and death.

The official attendance for the Feb. 19 game was 45,792 — a “home” record for Atalanta, a small club making its debut in Europe’s top club competition.

Atalanta captain Alejandro “Papu” Gómez told Argentine daily Olé it was “terrible” to have played that game.

“It’s a city of 120,000 people and that day (40,000) went to the San Siro,” the Argentine said. “It was a historic match for Atalanta, something unique. To give you an idea, my wife took three hours to get to Milan, when that trip normally takes 40 minutes.”

The game was played in Milan because Atalanta’s stadium in Bergamo didn’t meet the requirements set by European soccer governing body UEFA.

Before the match, Valencia fans freely roamed around Milan and gathered at some of the city’s plazas, including the Piazza del Duomo, drinking and chanting team songs.

Looking back, the conditions for virus contagion were high, with thousands of people gathering without much concern — at a time when the outbreak in Europe wasn’t yet known — and then traveling back home. Nearly 30 busloads of fans made the 60-kilometer (37-mile) trip from Bergamo to Milan.

The evening before the match, there was no social distancing as officials from both clubs mingled and exchanged gifts and handshakes at a gala dinner offered by Atalanta.

“I have heard a lot (of theories), I’ll say mine: Feb. 19, 40,000 Bergamaschi went to San Siro for Atalanta-Valencia,” Fabiano di Marco, the chief pneumologist at the hospital in Bergamo, told Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera. “In buses, cars, trains. A biological bomb, unfortunately.”

Valencia defender Ezequiel Garay was the first Spanish league player to test positive for COVID-19. The team played a Spanish league game against Alavés about two weeks after the game in Milan, and later Alavés reported that 15 people in the club were infected, though it did not say the cases were directly related to the match against Valencia.

Italian soccer players’ association president Damiano Tommasi believes sports authorities should look long and hard at the Atalanta match before restarting leagues.

“Look at what’s happening in China, where players are testing positive for the coronavirus now — despite all the safety rules and precautions being taken,” Tommasi told the AP, referring to a recent positive test for former Manchester United midfielder Marouane Fellaini with Chinese club Shandong Lunen.

Fellaini’s positive test was alarming because, while the outbreak began spreading in China, the virus has reportedly been receding there.

“It’s not going to be enough to just test the athletes,” Tommasi added. “The entire setting needs to be safe. Because if one team is stuck, it blocks the entire system.”

After winning the first leg, Atalanta advanced to the Champions League quarterfinals following another victory in the second leg on March 10, which was played in an empty Mestalla Stadium in Valencia after Spanish authorities prohibited games involving teams from northern Italy to be played with fans. A few thousand Valencia supporters gathered at the Mestalla to welcome the team, though, and to watch the match together in nearby bars and restaurants.

Over the past month, Atalanta has mourned the deaths of five former staff members. While announcements on the club website made no mention of the virus, local media have reported that at least four of them died with COVID-19.

Still, only one positive test from Atalanta has been announced.

“Some squads have chosen not to test their players unless they show symptoms,” Tommasi said. “Other squads tested everyone. These are individual choices.

“The head of the civil protection agency has talked about the likelihood that for every proven positive case there are probably 10 actual positives. … The high number of positives at Valencia makes you wonder.”

With the Champions League suspended because of the pandemic, Atalanta has no idea when it might play in the quarterfinals — which again would be the club’s biggest game in its history. In the meantime, both the Bergamo team and Valencia are left wondering about the unforeseen effects of their match in February.

What really happened with the Barstool Storm Chasers at the UConn game

What really happened with the Barstool Storm Chasers at the UConn game

Thursday night at Gampel Pavilion, the Huskies upset No. 21 Houston on their senior night in one of the team’s biggest wins of the season. However, a lot of media attention went toward the three men from Barstool Sports who were there “chasing a storm.”

The three men, Adam Ferrone, Caleb Pressley and their producer Andrew Enriquez, who goes by “Chef Donnie,” were arrested and removed from the game early in the second half. All three were charged with criminal trespassing. Pressley and Enriquez were also getting charged with interfering with an officer.

Ferrone and Pressley, known by their fans as “Storm Chasers,” travel to basketball games across the country looking for a home underdog to upset a ranked opponent. As is customary in a lot of these upsets, they try to storm the court with the student section, hence why they call themselves Storm Chasers.

I spoke to Ferrone, who goes by “Rone,” shortly after they were released from the UConn Police Station Thursday night.

“We are on a country wide-journey called Storm Chasers. What we do is we go from campus to campus and we go to schools where there is likely to be a court storming, so like an unranked home team against a ranked opponent,” Ferrone said.

UConn wasn’t the first stop on their search, and in fact, it was their third in the northeast in three nights.

“Two nights ago we went to Rutgers and they stormed the court. They had the red carpet rolled out for us, they had us ready to go in the student section, it was amazing,” Ferrone said. “Then last night we went to Rhode Island and they took great care of us. They brought us on the court and in the front row of the student section. They didn’t storm the court, but it was still an awesome time.”

Rutgers upset No. 9 Maryland Tuesday night 78-67, prompting a court storming. URI, on the other hand, got blown out by No. 3 Dayton 84-57, so those fans left the game from their seats instead of from the hardwood.

“With those last two games being so big, tonight [Thursday] we had tons of people hitting us up from UConn telling us to come to the game,” Ferrone said.

According to Ferrone, they bought tickets to the game and had seats outside of the student section. University spokesperson Stephanie Reitz sent a press release Friday that confirmed they had tickets to the game, just not in the student section.

“Outside of the press release, we wouldn’t really comment because with the arrest situation, it would be a pending court case,” UConn Police Deputy Chief Andrew Fournier said. “So we’re going to stick to anything that’s contained in that press release.”

When I called UConn Athletics to ask questions, Assistant Director of Athletic Administration Dominic Godi also referred me to the press release.

“We bought our tickets, sat in our original seats, then came down to the seats they had reserved for us in the front row.” Ferrone said. “There were signs on each of our seats that said, ‘reserved for Barstool Sports.’”

Ferrone sent me a picture of the signs that were placed at their “reserved” seats at the front of the student section. It was a plain, white paper sign that said, “Reserved for Barstool” in all caps in a basic, black font. It is unclear who placed the signs there, but Ferrone said security told him, “Anybody could have made those signs.”

“This section is specifically reserved for currently enrolled UConn students, and not open to non-students,” according to UConn’s press release.

Ferrone claimed that he and his partner Caleb had been in contact with UConn students and members of the ticket office through direct messages on Twitter and Instagram to arrange seating for them in the student section.

“There was probably upwards of 100 DMs if you count my account and Caleb’s account,” Ferrone said. “So I’m not even sure who set out the signs that said ‘reserved for Barstool Sports,’ but it was there on the seats. We were in contact with multiple people.”

Ferrone refused to include the names of any of the people he or his partner were in contact with.

“We were trying to explain it to the cops that this had been set aside, but that’s where the misunderstanding fell into play. They said anybody could have made the signs that had reserved the seats for us,” Ferrone said. “I guess there was a misunderstanding within the department, because people from the ticketing department had invited us.”

When they were told that they were not allowed to be in the student section, the Storm Chasers refused to return to their seats. That was when they were placed under arrest.

“The men refused to leave the student section despite multiple requests from those officials and, eventually, despite direct instruction from UConn Police,” according to the press release. “They were placed under arrest and escorted to Gampel’s lower level below the stands, where two of the men then laid on the ground and made other attempts to resist officers.”

“On the way out there was some jostling and people fell down accidentally,” Ferrone said. “Our producer Donnie wound up going to the ground. He was just kind of holding on to his camera the entire time and did a beautiful job filming us. He wound up getting dragged out by his ankles.”

Donnie put the footage of the trio getting taken out of Gampel on the Storm Chasers social media pages. Donnie and Pressley were charged with interfering with an officer while Ferrone was not, and it appeared to be because they were the two who had gone to the ground.

Pressley joked, “Rone snitched in jail and got lesser charges than we did.”

Pressley said this won’t deter their dedication to further storm attempts.

“We’re married to the game, and we’re faithful,” Pressley said.

According to the press release, “Their motive for remaining in the seats and their identities as social media personalities were not a factor in the actions of the Gampel personnel, police, or on-site security officers. The matter would have been addressed similarly in the case of any non-student patron who took a seat in the student section and repeatedly refused requests to leave.”

The storm chasers also appeared to have at least one fake credential, which Donnie tweeted from his account the next day. The credential says that they were with the Daily Campus, which I can say with confidence they weren’t. The credential also doesn’t look similar to any credential UConn has given the press this year, and has the word “videography” spelled incorrectly.

“Again, none of us were being really combative, we don’t have a problem with the arresting officers. It just seemed like a total miscommunication,” Ferrone said. “Some people were telling us we were allowed to be there, some people were telling us that we weren’t allowed to be there.”

Ferrone also explained that the on-court emcee went over and sat down with them in the student section to let them know that the camera was going to cut to them soon and that they should amp the crowd up. Shortly after that was when security came, then soon after that the police.

The emcee, Conor Geary, refused to comment about the event and referred me to UConn Athletics, who referred me to the press release.

“All we wanted to do was just try to be good fans and rile up the student section,” Ferrone said. “We were driving around campus all day, people were just losing their shit for us.”

I also spoke with a couple of fans from the game were in or around the student section.

“They all came in and sat in the normal section across from the student section and then after, made their way over to our section and everyone went wild,” UConn student Jami Rivera said.

One fan said the student section chanted “let them go” when security and police wanted them out of the section. Footage of that is also on social media.

“The student body was amazing to us. There was an eruption when we got there. We weren’t there to cause trouble, we were there to cheer on the basketball team. That’s what we had been doing for the entire game up until that point,” Ferrone said. “We had come to an understanding, and we thought it would be the same as the other schools where we could just kind of go to the seats that were reserved for us.”

Though UConn beat Houston, there was not a court storming that night. It could be because upsetting a No. 21 team doesn’t necessarily warrant a court storming, especially when the winning team is a program with history as rich as UConn’s.

According to Ferrone, he was sent pictures from UConn students that security had locked arms in front of the student section to prevent a court storming. Due to the spread of coronavirus, teams didn’t shake hands after the game, so this could have been a precaution of that nature. It could also be because senior Christian Vital addressed the crowd for senior night.

Regardless, the only court that will be stormed is Rockville Superior Court, where the Storm Chasers will have their hearing.

Massive brawl breaks out at end of Kansas-Kansas State game

Ryan YoungWriter

Yahoo SportsJanuary 21, 2020

The end of No. 3 Kansas’ 81-60 win against Kansas State did not go well on Tuesday night at Allen Fieldhouse.

Instead, the blowout rivalry game ended in an all-out brawl.

As Kansas started dribbling out the clock while holding a 22-point lead in the final seconds, Kansas State’s DaJuan Gordon stole the ball and started dribbling down the court in an effort to secure one last layup.

Kansas’ Silvio De Sousa, however, sprinted behind Gordon and came up with a massive block as he attempted the layup, sending Gordon down into the baseline.

Almost instantly, both teams swarmed the scene on the baseline, which sparked the wild brawl that spilled down into the crowd and media section underneath the basket. Several punches were thrown in the incident, and De Sousa even picked up a chair at one point, though it was taken away from him before he could do anything with it.

It took several arena staff, coaches, police officers and even cheerleaders to break up the fight.

After things had settled, both teams were called back out from the locker rooms and one-tenth of a second was added back onto the clock. Kansas State hit one free throw from a technical foul out of the incident before the game was officially over.

“I know that we were in the wrong,” Kansas coach Bill Self said, via KSNT’s Pete Francis. “I’m not saying that both parties weren’t in the wrong, but I know that we were in the wrong.

“I was shaking hands with [Kansas State coach Bruce Weber] as the play was going down to the other end. Bruce came down to shake hands, and so I did not see what transpired until everybody started running out there. I didn’t even know that it was a melee until three or four seconds until after everybody was out there … That was an embarrassment on our part for the role that we played in it.”

Self confirmed after the game that De Sousa received a technical foul, and that every bench player from both teams had been ejected from the contest at the end. The only players left were the 10 who were in the game at the time, via CBS Sports’ Kyle Boone.

Weber said he told his team not to foul at the end of the game, too, when Gordon stole the ball.

“You win with class, you lose with class,” Weber said, via the Kansas City Star. “It’s probably my fault. I told them not to press, not to foul, to back off. But the kids are young guys. They want to play hard. They were disappointed, frustrated. You don’t want to take that fire out of their belly but you have to handle it right.

“All we talk about is act right, treat people right, play the right way. That’s been our way at K-State.”

Self said after the game that “there will be consequences,” which he will likely announce on Wednesday after he’s had a chance to review tape of the incident, but that it’s “obvious to me we played a role in what transpired and there will be penalties for that.”

“What happened is zero signs of toughness,” Self said, via Jesse Newell of the Kansas City Star. “It’s a sign of immaturity and selfishness more than toughness.”

Kansas athletic director Jeff Long released a statement on Tuesday night, too, saying that he will review the footage with Self, the Big 12 Conference and Kansas State.

“The conduct of a few of our student-athletes at the conclusion of tonight’s game vs. Kansas State was simply unacceptable and not reflective of who we are,” Long said in a statement, via Boone. “Coach Self and I will review the incident, along with the Big 12 Conference and Kansas State to determine the appropriate consequences. There is no place for this conduct in college athletes or here at KU. I would like to apologize to the Big 12 Conference, Kansas State University, [Kansas State athletic director] Gene Taylor, Bruce Weber and all fans for the lack of sportsmanship form members of our team this evening.”

Teen facing murder charge after victim shot at Dallas high school basketball game dies


ABC NewsJanuary 19, 2020

Teen facing murder charge after victim shot at Dallas high school basketball game dies originally appeared on

A 15-year-old boy arrested in a shooting that broke out this month at a high school basketball game in Dallas is now facing a murder charge after one of the victims died from his wounds, police said.

The victim, 18-year-old Marc Strickland, died at 2:59 p.m. on Saturday, a week after being rushed to a hospital with a bullet wound to the chest, according to the Dallas Police Department.

Charges against the suspected gunman, whose name was not released because he is a juvenile, were upgraded to murder, police said in a statement.

Strickland was a former student in the Dallas Independent School District and had recently transferred to a charter school, Dallas education officials said.

The shooting unfolded on Jan. 11 during a game between South Oak Cliff and Kimball high schools, prompting players and coaches to duck for cover and fans to race for the exits, video of the incident showed.

A Dallas Independent School District police officer was grazed by a bullet when she attempted to confront the gunman, police said.

The shooting erupted at 9:10 p.m. inside the Ellis Davis Field House in southwest Dallas and followed a physical altercation in the stands, according to authorities. More than 600 people were at the game when it was interrupted by the gunfire, officials said.

The boy suspected of being the shooter surrendered to police the following evening after witnesses identified him through images captured by security cameras and released by police. The suspect was initially charged with two counts of aggravated assault.

Michael Hinojosa, superintendent of the Dallas Independent School District, said the violence that erupted at the basketball game signaled the city’s long-held “truce” that school sporting events and other extracurricular activities were off-limits as venues for settling feuds had been broken.

While expressing outrage over a surge in gun violence in the city, Hinojosa announced a series measures taken immediately to boost security at school sporting events, including instituting a ban on bags, purses and backpacks. He said spectators would have to either pass through metal detectors or be checked with metal-detecting wands before attending games.

The gun violence at the basketball game mirrors a national trend of shootings at school sporting events. A investigation published in December by ABC News found that of the more than two dozen school shootings in the United States in 2019, 57.6% occurred at the end of or during sporting events, specifically basketball and football games.–abc-news-topstories.html

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