Officials vowed to get tough after the last episode of black mob violence at Kings Plaza mall in Brooklyn a few days after Christmas.
So they banned teenagers from the mall. That lasted two days.
“We ask that they respect the center’s code of conduct while visiting the center,” mall owners pleaded after giving in.
This week, they returned: Hundreds of black people running, fighting, creating mayhem at the Kings Plaza Mall.
The CBS local news headlines promised the story: “Hundreds Of Teenagers Run Wild.” But the reporter dutifully downplayed the violence and ignored the central organizing feature of the perpetrators. They were black.
“It was just a bunch of kids misbehaving, causing havoc in the mall and stuff like that,” Shawn Reece said to the CBS reporter. “They play manhunt you know just having fun. But I guess it got a little bit out of hand.”
Local websites were not quite eager to overlook the obvious. Not this time. Over at Sheepsheadbites.com, the locals were in an uproar:
“I can’t believe there was not more publicity on this,” said one resident. “Flatbush avenue was a mob scene. Traffic backed up to the entrance of the belt parkway with mobs of teenagers everywhere. I couldn’t believe my eyes. My normal commute home took an additional hour because I couldn’t get past the mall. They need to shut down this crime magnet ASAP!!”
News outlets have displayed reluctance reporting racial violence in this area. In October, across the street from Kings Mall, 10 “teenagers” beat up a white couple, shouting racial epithets as they punched and kicked them.
It took the Daily News six days to report the story. And when it did, the reporters decided it was nothing much anyway: “It’s not just a black and white thing,” a person who lives near the violence told the News. “It’s stupid teenagers thinking they can do whatever they want.”
Despite the presence of racial slurs, no one was charged with a hate crime.
Like the last riot, the people responsible for the mayhem were considerate enough to broadcast their intentions on Twitter and Facebook. This time people listened.
At 2 p.m., Queen Dimplez put out an alert on Google +: “Warning: If you are going to KP also known as Kings Plaza don’t go. On Facebook people are talking about they gonna trash KP and start a rampage.”
This one on Twitter from people who were at the mall during the latest civil disturbance: “Literally just escaped from 500 kids ready to attack at the f****** kings plaza,” said Erica Barone.
Then Jalen Barone piped in: “Pretty sure it was a riot. Everyone was closing their stores, screaming too, mobs of kids running. Cops everywhere.”
One person was arrested. And mall officials congratulated themselves for having a security plan in place to prevent damage to stores and harm to shoppers.
They might have won the battle, but others wonder if they are losing the war.
“Officials and store owners realize with more bad press, anyone who would have given Kings Plaza a last chance, would definitely leave for good,” said one Brooklynite at Sheepsheadbites: “I’m past that point and if I have to do any shopping in store, it’ll be in Manhattan.”