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LAPD Tracking Down Flash Mobs in L.A.

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A flash mob on Hollywood Boulevard occurred after a tweet from a DJ
A flash mob on Hollywood Boulevard occurred after a tweet from a DJ

Flash Mobs are occurring almost weekly in Los Angeles and LAPD is trying to track down the events before they happen.

Websites such as Meet Up have been used to organize the events in Southern California for people who want to attend and participate in these "flash mobs," or mass gathering of people. Through your Facebook account, you can log in and show which events you are attending and share with your friends. This Saturday, there is an upcoming flash mob of 5,000 people to raise funds for Mental Health programs.

On July 28th, a flash mob on Hollywood Blvd. for DJ Kaskade got too big and LAPD had to shut it down. "We're looking for criminal behavior. We're looking for public-safety problems," said LAPD Commander Andrew Smith to ABC7.

In May, a bikini flash mob shocked shoppers at The Grove in Los Angeles organized by the store PacSun to advertise for their new swimsuit line, but the event did not get shut down.

"Flash mobs are unique because the police department must ensure the safety of the public without infringement of civil liberties," said LAPD Officer Chobanian.

LAPD Internet Unit officers are searching on Facebook and Twitter to look out for organized flash mobs that may lead to something illegal.

annenberg-school-of-journalism

Arika Sato is a graduate student at the University of Southern California's Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism, which has partnered with KCET-TV to produce this blog about policy in Los Angeles.

The photo used on this post is by Flickr user h.ngo. It was used under a Creative Commons License.

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