Monday, October 3, 2011

Crime on the Streets of Philadelphia

By: Edmund Celia

Do you remember the lawless flash mobs in Philadelphia? On Aug. 9, 2011 a flash mob gathered on South Street in Philadelphia. You can see the crimes being committed in the videos below. For example, a group of deviants are kicking and punching someone on the ground next to a car. Assault is a crime and flash mobs committing them are a community issue that is deplorable in our society, and cannot be taken lightly. It’s also against the law to attack people. Moreover, you can see in this first video how fast a counter culture is formed with modern technology. Case in point, this group of teenagers are going against main stream culture, and committing crimes of assault. In addition, this video also shows the bystander effect happening. For example, it is when a crime takes place and, because a large group of people are there standing around and watching; they don’t call for help or call the police. They think that someone else will call for assistance. As a result, no one helps the victim. Additionally, the Mayor of Philadelphia was initially subjected to ethnocentrism, and the crowd not calling for help was exposed to the bystander effect. These sociological effects are unknowingly exposed in the below video. 
Mayor Michael Nutter was originally in denial about the Philadelphia flash mobs as something not deviant or criminal, because the group that formed was of his own ethnicity. Furthermore, my above video is a perfect example of this. It is called ethnocentrism and it is cause by one’s shared culture. Our Mayor, Mr. Michael Nutter says, “Not a whole lot happen.” Meanwhile, the video shows the criminal activity and clear evidence of two assaults that took place on South Street. The first assault was a man that was interviewed and you can see his bruises. In addition, the news reported that a woman was attacked for no reason. Our Mayor indirectly says in the video, that he blames his misunderstanding of the crimes that were committed by the flash mob on the wrong official facts being reported, but not the news media. This is just another example of ethnocentrism- when one cannot see something from a world view, because it is happening from within one’s own group.

Furthermore, I also think that ethnocentrism and the bystander effect are unjust and wrong. It’s also a shame that people sometime suffer from these sociological effects. For example, ethnocentrism is that one may be close-mined to reality, and the bystander effect is when a large group of people witness a crime and nobody steps in to help the victim. In my opinion, these sociological effects are also criminal. 

To conclude, I agree with the police commissar, Chief Charles Ramsey in the second video above. He says, “It’s no joke, and if you do think it is, you have another thing coming. It is serious crime(s) being committed.” Criminal or deviant behavior, such as, attacking another human being is unacceptable in our society. As a result, these juvenile delinquents deserve to be held accountable for their crimes and actions, and are lucky no victims were killed. 


  1. Michelle De'Brue
    Edmund Celia great post! I appreciate you keeping this in the light to help remind everyone to be aware of this situation! This flash mob situation is damaging our communities and having our children be fearful for their lives when they are out in those streets. Its greatly appreciated that the commisioner wants to hold each individual accountable for their deviant behaviors but is it really going to stop other young teens from comminting the same acts of crime?

  2. Any violence that happens anywhere is just plain wrong. It does seem like the Mayor is acting like he doesn't know or he doesn't want to express how he really feels about these acts in the right manner but in no way shape or form do I believe that he is being ethnocentric. From my understanding a ethnocentric person is when he or she evaluates other people cultures according to the standards of their own. As a black person flash mobbing is not a standard that we have in our community so when you wrote, "Our Mayor indirectly says in the video, that he blames his misunderstanding of the crimes that were committed by the flash mob on the wrong official facts being reported, but not the news media. This is just another example of ethnocentrism- when one cannot see something from a world view, because it is happening from within one’s own group." it kind of caught me a lil off guard because I didn't get the impression that he was trying to cover up situation because the flash mob incidents involved a majority of his "own group" the Major just needed to get his facts straight before he makes a public announcement about the incident.

  3. This post is really good. I agree with the fact that the mayor was displaying ethnocentrism But when you explain the bystander effect and watching the video, if I was at that those places at those times the first thing I’m thinking about is my safety. Theirs over 50 teens attacking random people I don’t want to be the next target so to say I’m committing a crime by trying to make it safely to my car and home is in my opinion shouldn’t be said so dramatically. And secondly in the second video there was police already trying to dismantle the situations, so what more could one person do but jump into harms way?

  4. Aleshia SatterthwaiteOctober 5, 2011 at 3:52 PM

    Great post post it has a lot of information. Deviant behavior such as looting has been around for years. Flash mobs and looters have the same thing in common, to go against the norm. The only difference is looters take advantage of situations such as natural disasters or black out; they have that need because they want to survive so they steal food, clothing etc. The city flash mobs, mostly made up of youth do not need an excuse to form a group, they randomly search the city for communities that are easy prey to steal and destroy property and sometime lives. It is a misfortune that some of these youth find this type of behavior entertaining. We should be asking ourselves why our youth find these types of behaviors entertaining. For example, the young men who randomly punched the Starbucks worker in the subway causing his death, I do not believe they woke up that morning expecting to kill someone but I do believe they were looking for entertainment that day. When I was younger, we looked forward to mischief night and wondering which neighbor’s house, we could wrap in bathroom tissue. Times have changed.

  5. This is a great post.. I agree with this a lot, this is something i speak about on a regular basis with my teens that i mentor a well as my kids i coach. i also think that alot of this comes from the way the system interferes with parenting. Parents have lost control of there kids do to the fact that they cant punish there kids without the fear of dhs or getting a child abuse record and not being able to pursue what there careers are. As a result our communities are being run by teens who lack the maturity to make valid decisions in most cases thats when these flash mobs occur. I never got into these type of things the most we did was hookie at a friends but no one got hurt. I am saddened by the way our future looks if the teens of today are our future

  6. The you something to think about because the flash mob really concerns me because innocent people get hurt. We as the parents need to sit down with our children and find what going on with them. If we take out time with our children maybe they will stray away from the deviance of this society.

  7. First i want to say this is a good post love it, but i have a few disagreement with some of your arguement. I disagree for you to say that "Mayor Michael Nutter was original in denial about the Philadelphia flash mob as something not deviant or criminal,because the group that was formed was of his own ethnicity" i must say that i am against what the flash mob as done it is wrong, it is wrong and these types of behavior are not accepted or to be ignored. During the speech of the Mayor he said " Not a whole lot happen" i interpret him to mean that not alot of incident had happen and no serious injure. His arguement was also based on the report he received from the officials and not from the media.Most citizen who watch the news know the media can be bias in reporting therefore Mr Nutter would expect his officials report to be credibele based on fact.This types of behavior have to be dealth with on the basis of law. If law makers would stop interfer with a parent or parents discilpining their child there would be a less violent city today.