More Questions About the Downtown Riot

Think that little dust-up downtown was no big deal? Well, we’ve got tons more questions about how the whole thing happened, and why, with a history of bad behavior at this event, more wasn’t done to prevent violence. Here’s a hint — you can’t just invite 5,000 kids to converge on a location without any supervision and not expect some trouble.

Police chief Robert White was as pissed as we’ve seen him, saying “We’re going to have to figure out a better way to get the organizers to do this in the years to come ’cause this is a little ridiculous.”

Don’t think you’re going to have to worry about that one, Chief.

We also got a report on the incident from a downtown worker who saw much of what happened, who brings up a key point — how could all these young kids be wandering around downtown without parental supervision?

The entire intersection at Third and Market was a mass of people, people were swinging on cops, cops were hitting people with batons, kids were jumping up and down on top of police cruisers; it was nuts and a little scary. The thing is, though, it was all kids. I might have seen maybe five adults that weren’t cops. Just a teeming mass of teenagers filling Market and Third. There were at least 800-1000 people (maybe more) in the street alone, and they had no interest whatsoever in moving or leaving. Traffic was trying to creep through, and kids are just standing around in the middle of the street. Tons of kids, some that had to have been five, maybe six, I’ll eat my hat if they were seven, just standing around unsupervised, in control of a major downtown thoroughfare.

Kind of scary, huh? The police, who did a great job controlling what some called a riot, will have some say if, and that’s a big if, anything like this ever comes back to town.

Who would drop off a six-year-old downtown in a giant crowd?

The promoters of the event, the radion station involved, David Tandy and some irresponsible parents have got some explaining to do.

36 thoughts on “More Questions About the Downtown Riot

  1. Crowd control (or lack thereof) is not the culprit. It’s obvious that the riot was caused by too many youngsters sporting baggy pants and shockingly short shorts — both of which partially expose buttocks!


    Metro Councilcritters have a whole lotta ‘splainin’ to do. Their unwillingness to control subversive and provocative attire among the kids these days has now produced a mini-riot.

    Liability issues abound.

    What’s next?

  2. “Metro Councilcritters have a whole lotta ’splainin’ to do. Their unwillingness to control subversive and provocative attire among the kids these days has now produced a mini-riot.”

    Close, Steve. The parents also have lots of ‘splaining to do. Why did they let their kids run around like this?

  3. You’re exactly correct, Carter.

    Guys can always pull their pants halfway down their butts when the ‘rents aren’t looking.

    But the girls leave the house wearing shorts too short to cover a rump roast.

    I don’t why parents permit the sexualization of their children, but I it’s instructive that the same kids tend to behave badly.

    There’s not much the councilcritters can do (constitutionally) about bad parenting.

    But it tends to be a self-punishing offense, especially when their chicks proliferate — and additional chicks come home to roost.

  4. You are correct, Steve. However it seems that the actions of the “chicks” perpetuate more of the same with taxpayers and the kids themselves paying the price. I posted earlier a link to Bill Cosby’s “Pound Cake” speech. In light of what went on today, it’s worth reading again.

  5. Awww. This is David Tandy’s Idea of community involvement. Tell him to keep it downtown in the 4th and stay out of the County. Does this explain why Bullit , Oldham, and Spencer counties keep gorwing and we go backwards. I am sure they all were just fighting to get a seat at the 950,000 sports bar owned by Corrdish.

  6. Reporter: Mr Tandy, Did you expect this type of crowd or this kind of violence?

    Tandy: Well, uh, you know, the kids, uh were just, um getting a, uh little rowdy, um, I thought that now, uh since the cops, um have their, you know, um take home, uh cars, they would, uh be here in, you know force, to um, prevent, uh this kind of, um distraction

  7. I was stuck in the traffic caused by this nonsense for over an hour. During that hour, I had little jackasses walking against the lights , then screaming at and threatening the drivers who just wanted to get home, or to lunch.

    You could feel the chaos building. So I’m sitting there, thinking “this seems to be what happens when a large number of black people gather.” Then I felt guilty. My politically correct liberal mindset kicked in. Then I remembered the last time this event came to town, with similar results. Then I remembered all the Hip Hop awards shows and commemorations that have ended the same way.

    Are we not allowed to talk about what’s become an obvious pattern? Or do we let the wheels of the excuse machine keep rolling. Black, white, purple or plaid, there’s a problem here that can only be solved after it’s acknowledged.

    Ah, screw it. I must just be a bigot. Right?

    (yes, it’s pasted from my post in the initial thread. I’m short on time, dinner’s ready)

  8. I just loveeeee how everyone wants to draw assumptions on what they think happened but luckily I was there and want to shed light on what really happened and explain what “actually” went on. It’s not that whenever “a large number of BLACKS gather” chaos like this happens, I’ve watched and witnessed plenty of different races at events go hay-wire and get riled up which usually is almost always a violent result. As an African-American young adult I must say I was quite embarrassed at the behavior that I witnessed today but for the most part I can’t say that I was the least bit surprised. Anyways, this event is always heavily crowded and ‘shoving’ is common but it was when a announcer who I won’t disclose asked the crowd to ‘rep their hoods and what they claim’ that no more than minutes later the fist were being swung and tempers were flaring. In all fairness I cant and wont blame all the chaos on this particular announcer but he did have some involvement. Although officers were making an effort to defuse the situation their methods I felt were a little too harsh and abrasive which only added fuel to the already agitated crowd.

  9. O.K., Marie. While respecting your opinion, I have a couple of questions.

    At what events have “plenty of races gone haywire?” I grew in Louisville and have attended major events for over 20 years. The only comparable thing I can think of is the “wilding” that went on after Thunder.

    Also, what did you want the cops to do? I’m surprised no one was seriously hurt. I witnessed much of what went on outside, and I thought the cops, both black and white, showed great restraint.

    The fact that you felt embarrassed is encouraging. Had it been a bunch of white kids, I would have felt the same way. And I would have made no excuses. Again, a systematic problem doesn’t heal itself.

    One more thing. You say you were embarrassed, but not surprised. Why weren’t you surprised? At the risk of being labled, I must say, I wasn’t surprised either. And that’s a shame.

  10. Violence is never suprising whenever youngsters — of any race(s) — gather en masse and, for whatever reason(s), become agitated.

    Marie, I don’t know you’re withholding the identity of the announcer who exhorted the crowd to “rep their hoods and what they claim,” because that sounds like an invitation to aggression.

    The speaker deserves to be publicly identified, shamed and deprived of a microphone at future events.

    We routinely see outbreaks of violence among predominantly white groups at Thunder and the Derby infield.

    Evidently, the crowd of 4,000 this morning was younger and lacked the supervision of a sufficient police presence.

    I’m sure this morning’s ordeal will prompt some to question (1) whether minority youths are more disposed to violence (socio-culturally) than others, (2) whether the hostile youths are economically and/or educationally disadvantaged and (3) whether such disadvantages correlate with a higher incidence of violence.

    I doubt the Mayor will ask these racially sensitive sociological questions out loud, but I don’t believe that asking them makes anyone a bigot.

    I suspect the answers underscore the importance and challenges of smart parenting and law enforcement amid less-than-ideal circumstances.

  11. I was working security at the event, and I agree that there were very few adults. At one point, there was a lost 4 year old found (this was the 3rd or 4th time a child had been lost), and it was announced that the parents need to be more responsible (I guess they didn’t realize not many parents were there).

    The fighting was not limited to after the concert, at least 5 people were arrested for fighting during the show and were escorted out my Metro Police, who, by the way, did a phenomenal job.

    As soon as the show was over, the entire 6000-7000 person crowd made a mad rush for the doors, I’m surprised no one was hurt then. I had to stand against the wall to avoid being caught up in the crowd.

    Lastly, one thing Tandy mentioned in an interview on the TV was that this was a “family-friendly” and a “wholesome” event. I challenge him to read the lyrics to most of the “songs” the artists were performing, and then say they are wholesome.

  12. Just think – these are the little darlings that we are putting on buses and sending to school in just a matter of days. And we wonder what is wrong with our education.

  13. “We routinely see outbreaks of violence among predominantly white groups at Thunder and the Derby infield.”

    Really? When? I don’t recall seeing footage from Derby and Thunder on TV like I saw yesterday from downtown on TV. Until people stop pussyfooting around the problem and deal with it head on, incidents like what happened yesterday will continue.

  14. “Violence is never suprising whenever youngsters — of any race(s) — gather en masse”

    As a teenager, I went to many concerts attended by others of a similar age. Not once do I recall any violence occurring.

  15. Maybe there’s something in the air at the Commonwealth Convention Center ( or whatever it’s called now). That’s where they at the Neil Young show back in the 80’s

  16. Maybe there’s something in the air at the Commonwealth Convention Center ( or whatever it’s called now). That’s where they rioted at the Neil Young show back in the 80’s


  17. I went to just about every rock concert that came to town in the 70’s and the Neil Young show was the only one I can remember anything happening at.

    For those that don’t remember Neil played a hand full of songs and quit playing due to illness

  18. The fact that nearly 80 % of black children are born our of wedlock has to contribute to events like this. Without a strong male figure in the home, the kids don’t get the disciplne they need to act in a normal manner. Had I did something like this when I was young, it would not be pretty when I got home. Not at all. I’m just pointing out a fact. No bigotry intended.

  19. Riiiight. Having a strong male figure in one’s home will solve all problems of violence. So will having parents in a strong marriage.

    It’s not a fact that not having a father contributes to ignorant behavior. It’s an opinion.

  20. For those of you who think this type of behavior is limited to race and/or age, I strongly suggest you read and watch what happened last night at a Tampa, Fla., public forum on health care reform.

  21. “Why weren’t you surprised?”

    Anytime there’s an event promoted especially for the “teen crowd’ there’s always those who truly want to enjoy the festivities and act like they have some home-training and then there are those who have really adapted to the whole “hood” mentality and who’s only objective it is in attending the event(s) is to see if “so and so” is going to be there and try to stir up some conflict and ruin it for everyone else. Saddening as it is, it seems they’re always successful because honestly there’s no way to pick out who’s here for what purpose.

    As for the cops, yes they were doing they’re jobs but…. when the concert ended I saw people I knew who had absolutely nothing to with any of what was going on being threatened, slammed against police cruisers, shoved, and just being treated badly for no reason at all. I understood what they’re objective was but I and other on-lookers where shocked at what we were seeing. It almost seemed like some of the officers were on a power-trip and took, the chaos as an opportunity to try and prove themselves for whatever reason.

    I really don’t believe the Russ Parr Bus Tour will back next year. The behavior displayed yesterday was THE worst I’ve ever seen at this particular event.

  22. I’m not surprised the hyperbolic term “riot” is being used to describe an incident where between 4,000 to 6,000 children showed up at the KY Convention Center and 12 were arrested.

    I first saw the term used by WHAS-11 TV, which is the same television station that “reported” one-tenth of 1 percent at Forecastle used illegal drugs by the way. There sensationalism was outrageous then but those same critics are silent now.

    My opinion is mixed. As a west Louisville resident I’m familiar with young kids who have a “bad case of the I don’t give a fuck”. A lot of them had that attitude but let me ask the Negrologists posting above me: do most teenagers throughout Metro Louisville (Oakalona, Portland, Valley Station, Shively, etc.) have that attitude?

    I believe you had a bunch of unsupervised kids in downtown Louisville for a morning concert. The fact they were predominately black kids leaves them open to junk sociology by anonymous blog posters who say out of one side of their mouth: “I’m not racist,” then make the most racist arguments.

    I am disappointed that V.V., which has been a critical watchdog of local media coverage in past instances instead chose to jump on the bandwagon and headline it as a “riot”.

    The bad “black” kids where less than .0005 percent of the kids who attended.

    I agree there’s a story here and for three reasons.

    1. It was downtown Louisville — the city’s living room in the middle of a work day. There are serious question about organizing, security and promotion. It’s a back-to-school event but I noticed the streets were filled with the 106 & Park crowd who weren’t holding any school supplies.

    2. It was sponsored by Metro Council President David Tandy, a potential mayoral candidate, therefore, it’s political.

    3. The Russ Bus Tour has a history of incidents going back to 2007, which raises a question of should the event continue.

    But it wasn’t a riot by any definition.

  23. Marie –
    Trust me, the Russ Parr bus tour will be back next year. The sponsors and producers of the event make waaay too much money from the event not to have him back. People are missing huge point here, Main Line radio makes a TON of money from this. And so does their sponsors. This is not a “charity” event handing out school supplies; this is a money making concert.

    Also, where is Russ’ voice in this?? Has he even released a statement?? Let alone, had the guts to get in front of a camera?? Nope, just breezed into town, caused a riot, got a huge paycheck then jetted out. See you Louisville suckers next year!!

  24. I was parking my car and was walking to my office when all this happened!….Let me tell you it was a scary situation, it was a mob mentality, where they take advantage of thinking anything can be gotten away with because of the confussion. Most disturbing of all is that the Convention Center, Radio Station,Metro Police…And above all DAVID TANDY should have required adequate security at such an event knowing the propensity for such a reaction at such an event. It’s not like there is no history of this type behavior at such events.This is the same type of event that turned into a shooting at Jim Porters not long ago., and it is definately attributed to the behavior of a young black crowd?
    As I tried to zig & zag my way out of the riot, I asked a black lady what the hell was going on?….her response was, to my supprise…” JUST (“N—a’s being N—a’s)”…..I thought her answer was to mean, That’s what we expect to happen when a bunch of young Black people gather.
    The City is so concerned about convention business, or offending our convention visitors, they should consider how to handle Black events!…What the hell is going to happen when they have SNOOP DOG at the new Arena?…..The National Gard will be needed to protect Downtown!…..Somebody better use their brains and at least prepare for the inevitable reactions to these type events. Wake Up!

  25. “Who would drop off a six-year-old downtown in a giant crowd?”

    those parents who allow their younger than 12 year old kids to go to the movies unsupervised. am i really all that surprised? not in the least. i have seen small scale crowds like that at the mcdonalds across from the stony brook movie theatre on friday and saturday nights, and sometimes with police involvement as well.

  26. Per Phillip M. Bailey, “The bad ‘black’ kids where (sic) less than .0005 percent of the kids who attended.”

    Where did this statistic of less than 0.0005% come from? Using his high-end estimate of 6000 in attendance, that equates to less than 0.03 of those in attendance being “bad ‘black’ kids.” Is he saying that there was one black kid in attendance who was 3% bad?

  27. Russ Parr himself only made attempts to stop the fighting inside the Convention Center by threatening to shut the whole thing down if fighting continued. This only worked for a little bit before more fights started to occur and security was told to escort a whole group of people out.

    I was raised to believe to that there is a time and a place for everything and these kids were just showing out. I had a problem with this because firstly it was too early in the morning to be fighting and where we were at was definitely not the place.

  28. Marie … what do you mean by “too early in the morning to be fighting”? Is there a correct time for fighting? Could you please explain this statement?

    Phillip M. Bailey … kids were jumping up and down on police cars, fights were breaking out; kids were running through the streets while cars were trying to traverse them … just what exactly is that, if not a riot?

    ALL races need to come to the table and put the PC crap aside and start to look at some hard issues facing this community. We’ve got a problem with gangs and we have a problem with kids who don’t have positive influences in their lives who think the world “owes” them something. When people, regardless of color, begin to accept responsibility for their own actions and begin to understand that most things in life that are worthwhile involve work (I know, a 4-letter word to most), then maybe, just maybe, our community can start to move beyond the “entitlement” society that we have created and towards being responsible citizens who give a crap about their fellow man.

  29. What I trying to say was half the kids that were in attendance at 6a.m. that morning are the same one’s who won’t be on time for school and show up an hour or two later if at all thinking it’s okay but woke up bright and early to go down there and raise hell.

  30. This situation could have been easily controlled, had the LMPD had the manpower and the balls to make an example out of just one of the little juvenile delinquents…next time grab little Timmy or Juan or Kuan or Shaquita or Maria or Jane and taser the little shitheads.

    I don’t care what race they were, we cannot deny this even attracted a predominantly minority crowd, and a few amongst that minority created a mob mentality that got out of hand due to inadequate security.

  31. Everyone get their heads out of their butts!….I’ve worked many of these events,I am the same color as the majority of these crowds in attendance. I do security as a second gig to help pay medical expenses for my elderly parents. I’m not biased or racist!…..Here’s the way it is!….It should be STRICT POLICY that anyone in a place of public assembly that starts a confrontation, participates in any such incident should be slammed,jammed, and jacked up and charged with wanted endangerment, disordely,etc,etc…..It should carry a STIFF punishment. Most of the time it’s a bystander that gets hurt by some gang “wannabe” punks acting out!…..and they do it cause they know they can get away with it and claim FOUL or pull the race card if the COPS try and intervene….these little punk actors get a charge out of being self proclaimed bad asses……Brad F is on target, and the problem IS more Prevelent in the young Black community…..Just ask anyone who has experiance in promoting any kind of Black event . Ask them what the diff. is in a young BLACK event and a OLD SCHOOL older Black event.
    Ask the questions !, just be prepared for the real facts in the answers…..and that’s not being racist….it’s being accurate & real!
    High School sporting events can generate the same behavior regardless of race. The key here is AGE, Style of event and what the attraction is. Someone said Tandy should have listened to the lyrics!…NO SHIT!…this was no ice cream social enviroment. MAtbe TAndy and others who think they know everything should get in the trenches and be involved in dealing with these kids and see what is real, when the shith hits the fan, ..and it always does!

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