Witnesses and police say a mob of 60 black teens took to the streets of Charleston, South Carolina, to unleash attacks on unsuspecting drivers and pedestrians, all but one of whom were white.
Still, police aren’t concluding the attacks were racially motivated or that they came in angry response to the Baltimore-rooted protests over Freddie Gray, the 25-year-old black man who died from injuries suffered shortly after he was taken into police custody. The random violence also comes on the heels of a widely reported North Charleston police officer’s shooting of Walter Scott, a black man whose killing was captured on video.
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“The Walter Scott incident is fresh in their minds, and then there’s Baltimore,” said James Johnson, one of the leading local activists against police behavior in the Scott case, the Post and Courier reported. “But there’s no telling. It could be just spur of the moment. I’m hoping we can find out. Whatever it is, we’ve got to go to the root of the problem so it doesn’t happen again.”
The black-on-white attacks, called in to 9-1-1 dispatchers, occurred after the teens came out of a YWCA party, the newspaper reported.
A local station, meanwhile, reported a mob of 15 or so teens tearing through one community’s streets, angrily screaming and intimidating citizens.
“It was like swarms of bees, I guess … where it just kind of comes in and they’re all yelling and screaming and then I’ve never seen so many policemen coming down the street and the kids would disperse real quickly,” said witness Kathleen Russell, to WBTW.
The calls for emergency assistance were panicked in many instances.
One 9-1-1 caller reported “like 50 black kids outside and they’re getting into a fight. … There’s blood everywhere.”
Another reported “60 people … just in the street, screaming and yelling.”
A third: “They just smacked my car. I’m flooring it in reverse. This is just ridiculous. i’m getting the hell out of here, man. They just smacked another car.”
And yet one more caller: “They’ve got a dude down on the ground. There’s like five of them punching the dude … There’s a guy taunting me. I couldn’t make the green light because he was standing in the intersection taunting me. It’s pretty terrifying, man.”
Don Scott, a leader of the Charleston chapter of the NAACP, said he was flummoxed by the display of violence.
“I have no idea whatsoever,” he said, speaking of why the teens would commit such crimes, the Post and Courier reported. “It just seems unusual that folks would attack people that way. It’s atypical.”
Colin Flaherty, author of the new book “Don’t Make the Black Kids Angry: The Hoax of Black Victimization and Those Who Enable It,” observed that local media initially described the racially charged violence as “youthful mischief, gone awry.”
“But within a few days, someone figured it out: It was not just 12 teens roughing up a few old white people,” he said. “It was 60 black people rampaging through downtown Charleston, breaking bones, stealing things, destroying property, harassing, threatening, taunting.”
To its credit, he said, the local paper eventually identified the rioters as black and acquired the 9-1-1 tapes related to the incident, “which removed any doubt about the severity and extent of this black mob violence.”
The Charleston incident comes on the heels of a horrific black-on-white beating near Baltimore just a few days ago.
As reported by WND, a mob of black youths assaulted a 61-year-old disabled white man who asked two in their crowd to stop fighting in the streets outside his home. They beat him so badly he was placed in a medically induced coma to recover from bleeding on the brain, a broken nose and broken ribs. He was also given a blood transfusion to keep him alive.
Police in that case say they’ve arrested two, and expect to charge others.