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Flash mobs turn violent

Flash mobs have gained fame throughout the last decade for its appeal in the element of surprise and sole purpose of entertainment for passers-by.

AT&T has even satirized flash mobs in their often-repeated commercials.

Flash mobs have been deemed entertaining for years, but the fad has recently taken a violent turn.

For years, flash mobs have been organized by large groups of people through social media. People gather in a public place to perform unusual and pointless acts in order to gain attention from the audience of others around them.

A perfect example of a flash mob was in 2009, during a Black Eyed Peas performance of their hit song, “I Got A Feeling” on the Oprah Winfrey Show. Another memorable moment was the Michael Jackson tribute in Montreal, directed by Studio Acromatik, which became one of the biggest flash mob dances in history.

Due to a generation that is steadily dependent on social networking sites, one does not have to stall too long on a computer until they find a flash mob video. YouTube houses endless videos on popular flash mobs caught on camera that are gaining views by the numbers. While scrolling through an abundance of these videos, one will not fail to recognize that some flash mobs are not filled with dancing and laughing, but violence.

As recently as July 29th, groups of young people in cities around the
country have taken flash mobs to a whole different level.

In Philadelphia, kids as young as 11 have been reportedly attacking innocent bystanders in the Center City and University City areas. On August 8th, Mayor Michael Nutter announced a 9:00 p.m. curfew for minors in hopes to prevent future attacks.

The violent “flash mob” fad received national attention after a group of thirty people stole $450 worth of goods from a local 7-eleven in Germantown, Montgomery County, Maryland.

The surveillance caught the alleged thieves at 1:45 a.m. crowding the store and stealing from shelves while joking around and laughing with other looters. The incident took less
than two minutes, but the emotional damage caused was enough for local customers to fear the worst for the future.

“The kids seem to think this is a joke. That this is fun. That these are the activities they’d like to engage,” said officer Jeanelle Smith of the Montgomery Police. “The police do not see that as a joke.”

This unusual fad is creating a lot of buzz around the country. Others will soon be inspired to choreograph their own flash mob, but the critical point is to keep it safe. Violence is never amusing. Even if it can be related to such a lighthearted subject as flash mobs.





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