Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Beach Melee Videos

Sad to say, a number of vacation videos from Pensacola Beach like the one above are likely to be making their way onto A&E's "First 48" television series, or some such true crime program.

This past Sunday an afternoon gathering at the west end park of a predominantly young, African-American crowd turned nasty. If history is any guide, it isn't likely to be the last such scene this year.

Michael Stewart has been covering the story for the News Journal with admirable skill. Monday's article, "Several Arrested After Crowd Becomes Unruly," was thorough, balanced, and exceedingly well-sourced. Today's follow-up, "Weekend Gathering Spurs Confrontation," is equally deft, although it adds few new facts to the story.

What it does add is mostly news about the profusion of cell-phone and video camera clips of the episode that are making their way onto YouTube. No shocking Rodney King stuff, here. Not this time, anyway.

But give it time. Everybody -- the deputies, the young people, the amateur video artists -- are still learning. If the SRIA doesn't get a handle on how to safely accommodate the local minority community's needs, someone's bound to be hurt very soon. And we'll all get to see the results on YouTube.

Further Amplification

See: "A Different Drummer"

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