The Mall of America in Bloomington, Minnesota was the site of a riot yesterday after people started throwing chairs and fighting, allegedly because of a rumor that Lil’ Wayne and Drake were in the mall doing some holiday shopping.

From The Daily Mail:

A group of 50 youngsters were filmed on cell phone cameras throwing dining chairs at each other in the food court. Video captured police officers walking with their guns drawn, but they later said this was in response to reports of gun shots being fired. Several witnesses said the melee had elements of a ‘smash and grab’ flash mob, including heavy use of mobiles. It took 30 police and mall security staff more than an hour to restore order – with 10 juveniles and young adults held on suspicion of disorderly conduct.

Although nothing was reported stolen, many stores shut down, closed their gates, or asked shoppers to make way for police and security to ensure mall safety. Individual shoppers, of course, reported being afraid or bustled about by the crowds. As one would expect from the fact that any stores closed down on one of the busiest shopping days of the year, video shows that the situation was pretty serious…

I’m curious about where the Lil’ Wayne and Drake part came from. It seems like misbehavior always has to be pinned on some specific element of youth culture instead of the fact that the mob mentality is what causes these dangerous situations.

Do you really think this melee was caused by a bad rapper sighting rumor? Or is the mob mentality out of control no matter where the problem came from?

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