Lakers fans go on downtown rampage

June 18, 2010

LAPD officers clashed with rowdy basketball fans following Thursday night’s victory by the Los Angeles Lakers in Game 7 of the NBA championship series. [LA Times]

The Lakers beat the Boston Celtics 83-79 to clinch the championship before 20,000 enthusiastic fans in the Staples Center and thousands more gathered in nearby bars and restaurants.

After the game, police reports came flying in about fans throwing rocks, shattering windows,  and setting fire to at least one vehicle.

At Figueroa Street and Venice Boulevard, police fired less-than-lethal rounds at fans after they overturned  a city parking enforcement vehicle and set fire to orange fire cones. LAPD officers at the intersection were heard requesting permission to fire  projectiles at a group of men throwing chunks of concrete at them. Permission was granted.

Among other reported incidents:

–The YMCA at 11th and Olive was attacked by crowds who smashed windows and tagged walls with graffiti.

–Crowds rocked and jumped on cars around Figueroa Street and nearby roads.

–A KCAL-TV Channel 9 news van was attacked by a crowd, which smashed its windows.

–Groups were seen in several downtown locations knocking down news racks, throwing bottles at officers, setting off firecrackers and defacing signs.

The LAPD was making numerous arrests, but the exact number was not immediately available.

Police were able to clear the areas around Staples Center and the L.A. Live shopping complex. However,  the crowds moved into surrounding neighborhoods, causing problems. Some fans ran onto the freeway.

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It always seemsthis is the behavior that happens, whether something good occurs or something bad occurs. It is mob mahem mentality plain and simple.

By the way BeenThere… you start threatening people in a crowd with punishment for disobedence, as they leave a venue, you are GUARANTEED to get an ugly reaction. There are two ways to prevent these situations, and only one of them has the possibilty of working in the long term. The first, the heavy handed law enforcement approach, may work for a specific incident but it will continue to feed the underlying angst and in fact may cause many other problems… like the government putting plants in peaceful groups to incite them, illegal surveillance, beatings of innocent people, etc.. The second is to try and provide an environment in which the crowd can diffuse itself, and not antagonize the crowd, and then spend your resources on developing a just society where people feel they have a voice.

Again, I’m not trying to excuse the actions of the jerks… I’m just trying to be realistic about the choices we have if we actually want to solve the problem for the long term.

Sorry wrong. The police have used both approaches in past. Let the crowd disperse on own, or help it disperse. Actually have had lesser problems when they disperse. I have watched many of incedents like this for years as it is an interesting look at how people react to situations.

Well I know what I’ve seen, but I haven’t done a lot of research on this topic. I was at those Poly Royal riots so many years ago and the police antagonized that crowd into a frenzy. And it was when the police line came marching down that the liquor store got set on fire.

They set a liquor store on fire! The college kids did that? I’ve never heard of the Poly Royal riots, I guess I’ll go google it. I do have to agree that cops have a knack for “pissing people off”. I’ve seen them beat up anybody in their path, chase people who are trying to get out of the cross fire and even slam a young girl in the head with a baton who was trying to hide. Seeing that made me want to pop them off the head with a brick myself. Fortunately, I was watching it on TV!

Holy Mackerel, I just read about the Poly Royal Riots. What a story, that’s unbelievable.

Sounds like the kids went nuts for no reason and it went on for two nights! It doesn’t sound like the police did anything to provoke it. It sounds like it started with the kids pelting rocks and bottles at the police and para medics who were attempting to assist a bicyclist who had been hit by a car! What the heck? Guess BTDT is right, it doesn’t only happen in inner cities!

Thanks Cindy. My point is that most social riots do happen most of the time in inner citys. Mob mentality type riots can and do happen anyplace.

Another example of mob mentality type rioting would be the kind you see at soccer games in Europe.

One thing on the Poly Royal. On the second night it had become like a big game and fun. I remember reading the articles and seeing the smiling faces on participants faces. Doesn’t sound like people upset with social issues (as another poster is claiming on mob mentality) when they are smiling.

That’s true about the riots after soccer games in Europe. I didn’t think of those. I guess your right about social issues vs mob mentality. Actually I did a bit more reading about the Poly Royal riot and it appears that the second night was far worse than the first. It also appears that it was escalated by the police. It’s reported that the police showed up and did exactly what I said I’ve seen them do before. They don’t care if they attack innocent bystanders. They beat up everyone they can get their hands on. That’s when the real mayhem started and it was only because the police used tear gas and fire hoses that the crowd stopped pummeling them, and finally dispersed.

I am not trying to absolve the cops but think about what you and mkaney are saying. It was worse the second night. Yes it was. Now when I read about it after (and heard) the first night, COMMON SENCE said stay the hell out of the area. If I was in a crowd that went bad COMMON SENCE would say get the hell out of the area. So if people are DUMB enough to stay in an area and put themselves in danger, I have a hard time trying to find any empathy for them.

P.S. What is lacking in this and many situations is personnel responsibility. People need to take it and stop blaming everyone else for their dumb choices. I.e. going down to an area looking to be looky loos, because you want to see some action. Well then the next thing you know you are part of the action.

Yes, BTDT you’re correct. What about the couple that was standing in their apartment parking lot? They lived there and were waiting for the crowd to die down so they could drive away. The police saw them standing together alone and attacked both the man and woman with batons.

It was one big party and on the second night the kids were out and about. The police showed up and didn’t want them crowding together for fear and maybe some bruised ego’s over what happened the night before. The police were in full force and ready for a riot. It was the police that caused it to happen on the second night according to what I read so mkaney has made a point here?

Cindy. Yes I would be a fool to say is it perfect, (in regards to couple you mention at apt.) no. But again who started the whole thing? The cops are the thugs? Who is more to blame for the responce? The cops or the thugs? The cops where a responce to a situation. The situation was started by the students. Again I stand by all my postings here in lets blame the right people, people.

You can pick this apart from 20 different ways to make your arguement and will find some problems but again WHO instigated the situation to start with and then after it was started what in the hell are the cops suppose to do? NOTHING???

One last. If that couple you mentioned had been descented upon by the crowd and there were no cops there, then everybody would be posting how horrid it was and that, where was the cops? People are making it a damned if you do, damned if you don’t situation. So should we just not send cops to riots anymore and let the crowds just rip apart people and properity??

Yes, mob mentality is at work. No, there is no excuse for the destruction of property and violence. But if you look at the incidents described here, and you look at Poly Royal, or any other similar situation, you will find some common threads.

First, you have a large group of people (think safety in numbers).

Second, you have some underlying sentiments, frequently subconscious, that are entirely unrelated to the events. Many of these underlying sentiments are things like anger at the system. They are the things that people complain about to each other, but feel they have little or no recourse against… parking tickets for example. Generally people can deal with problems they have with others, even if it’s through unproductive things like fighting. They at least have a chance to yell. But people do not feel they have these outlets with regard to “the system.”

Third, you have an instigator.. someone looking for trouble.

Finally, you have “the man.” LoL Seriously though, even if things get a *little* out of hand, as soon as the police come into the picture, in their gruff and authoritarian style, all HELL breaks loose.

Once the instigator (sometimes it’s a participant, sometimes it’s law enforcement) steps in, there is a a reaction on the enforcement side. It is that reaction that serves as the impetus to push back, but the crowd would remain fairly controlled if not for the subconscious justification caused by a general feeling of dissatisfaction. That dissatisfaction is the fuel that accelerates and sustains the mob response. The mob mentality merely serves as a cover, making people feel they can act out without being singled out. I’m not excusing their actions, but it is not so simple to view this as a few jerks ruining it for the others. Situations like this are indicative of underlying issues in society, even if the crowd is not articulating those issues. People are very bad at expressing frustration and anger, especially when they think talking will get them nowhere.

Many concerts have tens of thousands of people in the audience, yet these events do not generally occur in those venues, how could that be if it was true that only mob mentality was at play here?

Your arguement is running to what mob mentality is. Go read about it. Your first statement about safety in numbers, that is mob mentality.

Second statement is wrong. It is not some underlying resentment. Usally mob mentality involves something that happens at a concert or sporting event where there is no underlying spark of social event like I stated in first post.

Third is right. Again mob mentality. You have an instigator and the people feeling anonymity join in.

And last I stand by the Poly Royal arguement too. The incedent at Campus Bottle happened before the cops got there on the first night. So again your argurment is wrong. No cop fuse.

My point is that mob mentality can happen at these events at any moment if the right spark is lit. Does it generally occur, well duh, no of course not. It is a once in awhile like most crime. Does murder happen every day in our county? No. Can it at any time? YES.

There is no excuse for that kind of behavior. It always happens in the same inner city area’s. 3 day’s in jail isn’t enough. They should all be made to reimburse the public for the damage that they do.

I have to disagree with you on blaming the inner city. I would bet that a LOT of those fans don’t even live in the inner city. It happens in all these cities, which just so happens to have the venue’s down town. I would bet that even if it was in the suburbs it would still happen.

This has nothing to do with the inner city. I learned about this in a class at Cuesta YEARS ago. This is a prime example of mob mentality. It is the same thing that happened in S.L.O. years ago during Poly Royal at Campus Bottle on California Street. Good and bad people get caught up in the melee. This can and does happen in a lot of places. Look at a lot of college towns this happens in. Again this is not a inner city type riot like the Watt’s of 65′ the L.A. Riots of 92′ etc. This is a different beast that can and does happen anyplace and is triggered usually not over being upset about a social issue but usually during a happy event.

They said that it occurred at Figueroa and Venice. That is the inner city. It’s the same area where they had a riot after the Rodney King trials, where they pulled Reginal Denny out of his truck and just about killed the poor man. I know people get crazy after some of these events but I’ve never heard of people over turning mail trucks and lighting fires all over the place. Not in the suburbs or in places like SLO. I could be wrong but I don’t recall ever seeing that happen outside the inner cities.

Always has to be a few a**holes to ruin a good time. This always happens in every city after a sports championship. They ought to start giving everybody arrested 3 days min. in jail (instead of overnight) and 300 hours of community service. Then near the end of each championship, you remind the home crowd that as they leave the venue, this is what awaits them if they act like jerks.