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.