Street Mob Breaks Out in Gentrifying Washington, D.C. Neighborhood

Patrick Howley Political Reporter
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A flash mob broke out in the Petworth neighborhood of Washington, D.C. Friday night, prompting police to fire a riot control agent into a crowd near a subway station.

The episode underscores boiling tensions in a neighborhood that — like many inner-city communities across the country — is trying to launch a major “revitalization” project that will see the opening of upwardly-priced new apartment units this summer to accompany a major new chain store.

Reports on social media suggest that D.C. Metropolitan Police broke up a party in Petworth due to fighting, prompting a crowd of teenage partiers — at least one hundred by some estimates — to take to the streets at approximately 10:30 PM. The party was reportedly shut down within ten minutes of its start.

The block surrounding the Georgia Avenue Metro station was quickly filled with siren-blaring police cars, M16-carrying law enforcement officers and outraged screams from pedestrians. At least one observer reported property damage on the part of the partiers.

“This is war” yelled one young person fleeing police by foot. Cars and Metro buses, meanwhile, were forced to stop or to dodge so as not to hit pedestrians.

Patrick Howley