City marks 10-year anniversary of student’s death

by Martha Schick / Beacon Staff • October 23, 2014

Ten years ago this month, after the Red Sox beat the New York Yankees in game seven of the American League Championship Series, Emerson junior journalism major Victoria Snelgrove was killed in a raucous postgame celebration.

On Oct. 22, 2004, a Boston police officer shot Snelgrove in the eye with a pepper-spray-filled projectile, just 90 minutes after the Red Sox won. Police had been using pepper spray for crowd control, according to the Boston Globe. 

“There’s not a day that goes by that I don’t think of her,” her mother, Dianne Snelgrove, said in an interview with WBUR earlier this week.

In 2005, the City of Boston paid the Snelgrove family $5.1 million in a wrongful death settlement. Ten years later, BPD said it handles things differently.

“Now we handle the crowd with a soft approach,” current Boston Police Commissioner William Evans told WBUR.

Evans said this includes not wearing riot gear and engaging crowds by chatting with and high-fiving them. He pointed to Occupy Boston and last year’s World Series win as examples of times they used the new approach.

In 2005, Snelgrove’s family set up a memorial fund, “The Torie Fund,” and part of it goes toward scholarships for broadcast journalism students at Emerson. The website lists seven Emerson student recipients between 2005-2012.