Parents angry at cops for detaining their kids after 200 teens ran amok, fireworks set off, fire started — in shopping mall

News & Politics

Some Los Angeles-area parents are angry at police for detaining their kids after 200 teens ran amok, fireworks were set off, and a fire was started — inside a shopping mall.

In the end, cops detained and cited more than 70 juveniles Saturday night in connection with a major disturbance at the SouthBay Pavilion Mall in Carson, KTLA-TV reported, adding that some parents and relatives called the law enforcement response excessive.

One mom complained to KTLA that her 11-year-old detained son has ‘no paperwork, never been in trouble, he gets straight As, and he’s a [sic] athlete.’

Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies responded around 5:30 p.m. to reports of what the station called a “large and unruly gathering” of about 200 minors that resulted in the mall closing early.

Authorities said some juveniles set off fireworks inside a store, and someone else started a fire in a trashcan, KTLA said.

The crowd reportedly refused to comply with dispersal orders, after which more law enforcement officers were called to the scene over teens disrupting businesses and endangering shoppers, officials told the station.

Sheriff’s deputies set up a perimeter and were seen jumping into bushes to detain some of the teens, many of whom were scrambling to exit the mall as law enforcement officers arrived, KTLA reported.

Jamila Buie — whose 16-year-old nephew was one of 73 teens detained — told the station that the police response was excessive: “I feel like they should’ve only detained the ones that started the fire, not all the kids. It’s only 30 people. They said they had video of the kids that started the fire.”

Deputies issued the minors citations for failure to disperse and disturbing the peace, the station said, adding that parents were forced to pick up their children — and some parents said the detainments weren’t justified.

One mom complained to KTLA that her 11-year-old detained son has “no paperwork, never been in trouble, he gets straight As, and he’s a [sic] athlete.”

But shoppers told the station the incident was unnerving. San Pedro resident Michelle Brooks told KTLA, “I come to the mall often here. I think it’s ridiculous. Parents need to get a hold of their children at all times.”

There were no reports of injuries or thefts from any mall shops Saturday night, the station said, adding that the mall was open for business Sunday — but with a visible security presence.

You can view a video report about the incident here.

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