KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Police are trying to track when the next crowds of kids will return to the Plaza. A community activist says it may happen sooner than expected.
The crowds of teens had grown each of the past three Saturdays until the big problems this past weekend.
Tuesday, an anti-crime activist who's been monitoring the situation, says the kids know police are gearing up for Saturday, so instead of waiting for the weekend, they might converge as early as midweek.
"There's a rumor going that they will show up midweek, because they know the police may be out there Saturday, they might change it up. They still might come," says activist and blogger Alonzo Washington.
He says it's hard to tell whether the kids will return to the Plaza or go somewhere else. Both Washington and police say the ability to text a lot of friends so quickly is a big factor.
"They're seeking somewhere to go and I think the kids of this generation have gotten a little bit wiser. They know they're going to be chased out, so they scout out place to go, and they say, hey, meet us here," added Washington.
"We have people dedicated to things like Facebook and Twitter. But when you have mass texts, texts are not something that we can monitor, so that makes it very difficult for us," said Capt. Donna Greenwell, with KCMO police.
Washington says some kids are looking for trouble, but most just want to find a cool place to hang out.
The roving party is not new. Washington says last summer, crowds of kids clogged streets until neighbors called for help.
"Last summer, it was just groups of kids hanging out on Troost, Paseo, Prospect. Neighbors in the inner city, older people, were upset about that, because it would be Saturday night and you couldn't even get through the streets," explained Washington.
Last fall, on Nov. 9, we reported on this shooting at 43rd and Prospect. It involved a crowd and the dispute continued the next day in and around Central High School.
There were more crowds, more fights, and police used pepper spray to clear the crowd, just like on the Plaza Saturday night.
Washington also recommends two solutions.
He says city leaders still need to provide things for teens to do on a Saturday night.
He also says police need to target the bad seeds before they get into a crowd situation and start the trouble for everyone else.
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