It’d be great if this were the first time in recent memory that riot police had to be called in to break up a crowd of sneakerheads trying to get their hands on the latest pair, this time in Orlando over the Nike Foamposite One.

The shoe’s release is timed to coincide with this weekend’s NBA All-Star festivities so a crowd gathered across the street from the Florida Mall in anticipation even though the mall had already closed. One bold shopper ran towards Foot Locker and many others followed, creating the need for police intervention and the announcement that no shoes would be sold at that time. The 100 police called to scene to break up the crazed crowd report no injuries or arrests. Crowds around the country are camping out for the Foamposite Ones, which retail for $220.00.

I know that I may be preaching to the choir here, but what is really going on? I cannot put myself in the shoes of anyone (no pun intended) who wants anything enough to wait in line for it in the dead of night, so I’m kind of at a loss. Two things worry me about these incidents. It’s troubling that a material item can cause such a reaction from people, a disproportionate number of which are black or brown, and it disgusts me that folks’ values are so twisted. But my real concern is that all of this constant police interaction will inevitably lead to someone losing his life at the hands of law enforcement. All over a pair of shoes?

What do you think about these incidents? What can we do to prevent them?

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