The Mall of America in Bloomington, Minnesota was the site of a riot yesterday after people started throwing chairs and fighting, allegedly because of a rumor that Lil’ Wayne and Drake were in the mall doing some holiday shopping.

From The Daily Mail:

A group of 50 youngsters were filmed on cell phone cameras throwing dining chairs at each other in the food court. Video captured police officers walking with their guns drawn, but they later said this was in response to reports of gun shots being fired. Several witnesses said the melee had elements of a ‘smash and grab’ flash mob, including heavy use of mobiles. It took 30 police and mall security staff more than an hour to restore order – with 10 juveniles and young adults held on suspicion of disorderly conduct.

Although nothing was reported stolen, many stores shut down, closed their gates, or asked shoppers to make way for police and security to ensure mall safety. Individual shoppers, of course, reported being afraid or bustled about by the crowds. As one would expect from the fact that any stores closed down on one of the busiest shopping days of the year, video shows that the situation was pretty serious…

I’m curious about where the Lil’ Wayne and Drake part came from. It seems like misbehavior always has to be pinned on some specific element of youth culture instead of the fact that the mob mentality is what causes these dangerous situations.

Do you really think this melee was caused by a bad rapper sighting rumor? Or is the mob mentality out of control no matter where the problem came from?

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  • African Mami

    I’m just mad that these kids are throwing furniture around over a bunch of rappers that can hardly express themselves intellectually! Jesus…this is a sorry state of affairs!

  • Seems to me the same sort of thing could’ve happened had there been a rumor of a Justin Bieber or Taylor Swift sighting rather than behavior particular to rap fans. I think it’s mob mentality but also that frenzied hype that comes from youth and the desire to get there first. The rest of it is just people around reacting to chaos and running from/toward what they don’t know.
    I would think that the Mall of America would be used to things like this and would have procedures in place to diffuse such situations. Seems like they sort of did via shutting down stores and quickly deploying security. That’s a gigantic space and the mall is no stranger to hosting concerts, celebrities and massive amounts of teens. But no, I don’t think it’s the rapper rumor that was the problem, necessarily. Just celebrity frenzy in general.

    • Truthy

      No, this wouldn’t happen at a Taylor Swift or Justin Bieber show. That is a cop out, but if it makes you feel better, then great. Its just people holding up a mirror to a disrespectful culture.
      In Nashville, at the annual Fan Fair, people stand in line patiently to meet and greet artists who graciously sign autographs. Then they go play softball to raise money for children with cancer.
      So, no, completely different.

  • The Comment

    I don’t understand why the cops had to explain why their guns were drawn.

  • bizgirl09

    I live in Minnesota, and only visit the mall during hours when I know that there won’t be a lot of youngsters. For the most part, the mall is very safe. I’m sure the rumor was started via social media and just spread. There is easy access for the teenagers to get there via bus and light rail, so that’s why so many were there. If you haven’t visited this mall, you really don’t have a visual understanding of how huge it is, and how easily melee like this can escalate. I’m just glad that no one was seriously injured. These kids were bored, and obviously don’t have a lot of guidance at home or they wouldn’t act this way. We are breeding hatred generation after generation. We always hear “stop the violence,” but the constant rhetoric is not going to solve the problem. It’s a complex issue, this is just a sympton of what’s going on at the root of our communities.