Long Beach beefs up police presence after 'bash mob' report


Referred to as a "bash mob," a group of people organizes a rampage that attacks innocent people and local businesses.

On July 9, a bash mob went through Long Beach's Pike area, with about 100 people committing thefts, assaults and damaging property.

Through social media, police learned that a bash mob was supposed to hit Long Beach around 2 p.m. Friday. Officers were able to contact one of the parents of a minor who was allegedly planning the bash mob.

"Our goal is to make sure that everybody knows that if you're going to come down here and commit crimes in Long Beach, we're going to be here. We're ready for you, and we'll arrest you if you're going to do that," said Long Beach police Sgt. Aaron Eaton.

Nothing happened. The Pike area, which is full of restaurants and shops, was full of visitors with extra security guards and police watching.

Earlier in the day, a peaceful demonstration organized by P.E.A.C.E. was held outside the Long Beach courthouse. Nearly 50 demonstrators voiced their anger over the George Zimmerman not-guilty verdict in the Trayvon Martin murder trial.

"Justice has no color. It's not a black or white thing. It's about justice and unity within our community," said Arlana Walton, an organizer of the demonstration.

With sheriff's deputies and Long Beach police officers watching, the demonstrators marched around the block a couple of times and chanted "No justice, no peace!"

"We've been feeling angry ever since the verdict came out," said Long Beach resident Leslie Burnett. "It was wrong. We feel it should have been manslaughter at the very least."

"People have come at me before, and there have been altercations and things that happened. If they'd had a gun, I might be like Trayvon and be dead," said Long Beach resident Renard Burnett. "So I would say they need to abolish the 'stand your ground' laws."

According to police, people who are busted taking part in a bash mob could face felony charges, which could lead to serious time in state prison.

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