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Heavy police presence in Motown

6/16/2004 - Detroit Pistons

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. -- Hundreds of people cheered and danced
in downtown Detroit on Tuesday night moments after the Pistons won the NBA title.

"Ain't no party like Detroit party 'cause Detroit party don't
stop," the celebrants chanted.

The crowd was orderly amid a heavy police presence.

"Other than large crowds and backed up traffic, that's pretty
much the norm right now," Detroit police chief Ella Bully-Cummings
said. "People in Detroit know how to have a good time and they
know how to do it acting responsibly and we hope it continues
tonight."

In suburban Detroit, hundreds of rowdy Pistons fans filled
downtown Royal Oak, spilling into the streets and blocking traffic
at times. Some set off illegal fireworks. Mounted police moved in
and by early Wednesday had cleared the way for traffic. Police made
a handful of arrests for minor offenses.

The last time the Pistons won the NBA championship, in 1990,
seven people were killed, six of them hit by cars, and hundreds
were injured by gunfire, stabbings and fighting. Looting and
raucous behavior led to dozens of arrests after fans jammed streets
to mark Detroit's 92-90 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers for
the title.

Celebrations after the Red Wings' Stanley Cup victories in 1997,
1998 and 2002 were largely peaceful.

In Los Angeles, a steady stream of fans wearing purple and gold
slumped out of Staples Center, where hundreds had gathered to watch
the game on the arena's giant screens.

The scene outside the arena was calm, as dozens of Los Angeles
police officers in riot gear patrolled the area to guard against
outbreaks of vandalism and unrest that have followed Lakers
championships in years past.