Long Beach is the latest community expecting the worst from a flash mob of marauding teens that could be taking cues from social media.
After nights of unrest, some of it related to protests over the acquittal of George Zimmerman in the Trayvon Martin murder case, Long Beach police say they're prepared for what it calls a "bash mob" in their city this afternoon:
The department said last night it was expecting such a mob at 2 p.m. somewhere in town.
Police said a group of young people hit the Pike at Long Beach, a waterfront retail plaza, and the nearby City Place Shopping Center not far away, on July 9 (a few days before the Zimmerman verdict).
On July 9th, at about 8:00 p.m., well over 100 individuals decided to participate in a "Bash Mob" in the Pike and City Place area of our downtown. A "Bash Mob" is a planned, sudden assembly of individuals who attack innocent people and businesses by committing thefts, property damage, and assaults. Once these crimes are committed, the individuals flee the area.
The department says the same group that descended on those shopping areas July 9 were behind today's alleged plans.
We will continue to support everyone's right to free speech and assembly. However, the police must also protect the safety of those victims targeted by these "Bash Mobs." Technology will be utilized to help identify and arrest those who chose to act irresponsibly.
[Update at 5:47 p.m.]: Long Beach police spokeswoman Nancy Pratt tells us the so-called 'mob' never materialized but that cops in the city will remain vigilant just in case:
No incidents, no arrests, but we're going to continue to monitor the situation.