There’s a lot we don’t know about the recent disturbance at Mall St. Matthews.
Like how many kids were involved? Initial reports said "up to 2,000," but many other sources are questioning that number as being too high. We’ll probably never know for sure, but regardless of the actual headcount, our reporters spoke to people who were there and they say they were terrified. People were running everywhere, trying to get out. And there were loud noises that sounded like gunshots, although police were never able to confirm that.
And then, there’s the question of damage and physical injury. While we know there were no reports of serious injury, that’s a judgment call, because we do know of a few people who were bloodied in the pushing and shoving. On the positive side, however, given that Mall merchants cited no instances of vandalism or looting and were able to reopen immediately the following morning tells me this wasn’t a bloodthirsty mob intent on maximum destruction.
But regardless of the specifics, it needs to be understood that this was a serious situation that could have escalated quickly. There were a lot of kids in one place engaging in unruly behavior, and the potential for much worse did exist. It was a situation that needed to be addressed with care, and fortunately for everyone, the various law enforcement officers who were called in kept cool heads and decelerated the situation in a very professional manner.
Are some people exaggerating the negatives of this incident to make it sound worse than it was? Perhaps. But just as bad are those who refuse to give the cops the right amount of praise for a job well done. And in both cases, they do a disservice to the Mall and the community.
Call and tell us what you think.
I’m Bill Lamb and that’s my Point of View.