This week, mobs of hundreds of teens created mayhem across the country. The scenario has been repeating itself for years in malls and other popular meeting spots all over America, but the trend is barely reported, much less identified as a trend.
Kevin Sheehan, Natasha Velez and Natalie O'Neill of the New York Post wrote yesterday that over 400 teens "stormed and trashed" the Kings Plaza Shopping Center in Brooklyn. The teens "erupted into brawls," "looted and ransacked several stores," "staged a game of 'knockout,'" and according to HipHopWired, the chaos included "security cops being assaulted."
Nobody was arrested.
Over nine hundred miles away, a similar scene took place in a Jacksonville, Florida movie theater on Christmas evening where an estimated 600 people engaged in what Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Lauri-Ellen Smith called a "melee."
Dan Scanlan and Derek Gilliam of the Florida Times Union wrote that a "massive fight among hundreds of young people" started when "an off-duty police officer was rushed by a group of teens and young adults..."
"One of the juvenile suspects refused orders to leave and began to incite the crowd yelling, '— — you, crackers, I ain’t going nowhere,' according to her arrest report. Most of the crowd was black, while several officers were white."
Smith said that many of the people were "fighting, disrupting, jumping on cars." Some of the Facebook posts made by the participants showed,
"flailing fists as a group starts punching each other in the glare of headlights before a woman falls to the pavement and the attack continues..."
One of the five people arrested, Tevyn Alonza Davis, 19, missed Army basic training that was scheduled for Sunday, as he has been detained.
"Despite online evidence of the mall melee, Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said no one filed a complaint about being assaulted or robbed."
An NYPD spokesperson said,
“They weren't stealing anything. “They weren't assaulting anyone. They were going through the mall, making loud noises. Some were fighting with each other.”