We often talk about the “mob mentality,” particularly in the political sense. We’ve seen street fights in places like Portland, Oregon, pundits like Tucker Carlson who’ve had their house attacked, party headquarters vandalized — things like that.
But what does the mob mentality look like in 2019 absent the political context?
After an incident in Vancouver, Washington, on Friday, we can glean some sad insight into what form it takes.
According to KGW-TV, deputies were menaced and threatened with death by a group of up to 70 teenagers who attempted to “close in” on them after they responded to a brawl at a basketball tournament.
The trouble began when deputies were called to an incident at Gaiser Middle School at roughly 5:40 p.m. Friday.
https://t.co/na2kXRJIpV – Large disturbance at Gaiser Middle School
— Clark Co Wa. Sheriff (@ClarkCoSheriff) March 16, 2019
It ended with “(d)eputies from 33 law enforcement units” responding, according to Fox News.
“Three deputies arrived on scene and were immediately met with verbal hostilities from the large group of teenagers, to include racial slurs, cursing and threats of assault,” a statement from the Clark County Sheriff’s Office read.
Video of the brawl can be seen here. (We warn you that it’s graphic and contains images of violence. Viewer discretion is advised.)
“(The kids) were out of control. They were screaming foul words and names, and they just started fighting with everybody all over again. The school counselors were there, the school police were there, all the Vancouver PD was there. It was out of control. It was crazy,” neighbor Denine Blas, who lives across the street, told KGW.
— Denine Blas (@denineblas) March 16, 2019
“When we got here there was a mob that was around the school staff trying to deal with the kids that were being the problem and they were actually being assaulted while they were trying to deal with one of the problem kids,” Sgt. Chad Rothenberger with the sheriff’s office told KGW.
“When we got there we were instantly met with hostilities. We were called the N-word, profanities, threatened with assault threatened to kill us.”
Things began to get worse from there. According to the statement, deputies were dealing with a specific individual when they were accosted by “60 to 70 teenagers” who began to “close in” on the deputies.
As the fight began to grow into a riot, deputies called for backup. The scene was eventually brought under control.
“It was just like being in an episode of the ‘Twilight Zone.’ It was really crazy really quickly,” Rothenberger said.
Nine minors were arrested. According to KGW, they now face charges of trespassing, failure to leave, assault, disorderly conduct and resisting arrest. A deputy sustained minor injuries dealing with the mob.
This isn’t to suggest that our society is falling apart at the seams and that we’re devolving into chaos and violence.
However, it is a window on the mob mentality that exists in America. It is a sign that the mob mentality isn’t something we should sneer at.
Here, at least, nobody was seriously injured enough to require life-saving medical attention.
The next time we report on something like this, It might not be so benign.
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