Hearne: Plaza. Police, Mayor Panic, Too Late to Solve This Year’s Plaza Kid Problem

The long hot summer…

On August 1st, upon returning from Arizona I spoke with KC Police who confirmed that for several weekends hundreds of mostly black youths had gathered on the Plaza near the Cinemark. That there had been problems – but nothing major – maybe a little pepper spray. But no tear gas or "crowds running kind of things."

Not yet anyway.

That long lull before the storm came to an end last night when shots rang out, three teens were wounded and what had the makings of another Plaza mini-riot began to unfold.

"The police got it under control and cleared the Plaza pretty quick after that," says a witness.

Now here’s another take:

"Had breakfast with my KCMO PD buddy," says a source who asked not to be named. "Chaos at PD, City Hall, Highwoods. And Highwoods was up in Sly’s grill."

As in new KC Mayor Sly James.

There’s more…

"Cops are afraid to patrol the area for fear of getting shot," the source continues. "Many are demanding bullet proof vests if they have to work that area. They feel it’s only a matter of time before one of them gets shot. They know lots of the kids are carrying guns. Probably old, beat up, shitty, don’t-shoot-straight guns, but guns nonetheless.

"Plaza Merchants are getting in Highwood’s face demanding action. Employees are afraid to work nights on weekends. Particularly those businesses with outdoor exposure like PF Changs, Brio, Classic Cup and Cheesecake Factory.  Many regular Plaza patrons have called, written or made statements to businesses that they are done.  They’re taking their money elsewhere."

Worse yet, "Mayor Sly doesn’t have a clue," the source says.  "He doesn’t seem to comprehend the depth of the problem. Even black ministers and leaders are telling him this requires bold action and not a Kumbaya moment. Back in the old days Charlie Wheeler would have called Corky Civella and the problem would have gone away.  But they can’t make that call anymore."

Now after an entire summer of putting Band-Aids on everything, KC Mayor Sly James is vowing to take action.

Trouble is, it’s too late for James to address this year’s Plaza kid problems.

"Because it always goes away at the end of the summer after school starts," explains a civic leader familiar with the issue. "Once it gets a little bit cool outside, they’re gone."

Maybe next year…

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32 Responses to Hearne: Plaza. Police, Mayor Panic, Too Late to Solve This Year’s Plaza Kid Problem

  1. smartman says:

    Too Late My Ass
    If you have wild fires in between Memorial Day and Labor Day you use the time after and prior to the next season to take precautions to eliminate or minimize the damage that might be done the next year, aka “thinning the forest”.

    If Team Sly doesn’t find some ways to either crack skulls, incorporate some passivity inducing electro-shock therapy with a free fade at Shady’s Buzz Cutz and Weevz or incorporate some teachable moments in the next 9 months we are going to be knee deep in grits and shit come hither summer 2012 or sooner.

    You got the bully pulpit Sly. Be the god-damned bully or get Whitey Bulger on loan from the Mass Penal System while he’s waiting for his trial to start. Hell, make WHITEY the new Chief of Police. He’d have the east side shined up like your old Marine Dress Blues in six months.

    Here’s some other idea’s Sly: call Aggreko and rent some of their huge industrial cooling units and let’s keep the Plaza at 45 degrees during the summer.

    Have Highwoods install a Plaza Wide PA system and play subliminal messages like “free chicken, watermelon and white bitches at 34th and Jarboe” all the time.

    Maybe go the charitable route. Let the thugs queue up outside the Plaza and every white person that enters can give a kid $20.00 to go somewhere else for the evening.

    Head over to the West Side and tell La Emme all the east side rim and tint biz is theirs, no sales tax, when la cucaracha’s are all gone. They’ll understand what you mean. Toss in a grant for $250K and have them put up some nice murals too. Some Jesu Christo and our Lady of Fatima stuff will look better than all the gang grafitti and tagging.

    C’mon Sly. Michele Bachman is making you look like Erkel.

    Semper Fi!

  2. newbaum turk says:

    Heads in the sand
    “Civic leader” says it’s too late to do anything huh. Bullshit. Next weekend they will be back. This does not take tons of planning. Get some busses and park them at the Plaza. When all hell breaks loose send hundreds of riot police in, round them up, put them in the bus and throw them all in jail. I don’t care if they are ten years old ( which some of them are and what the hell are they doing on the Plaza unsupervised). When their momma comes to get them out of jail throw them in to for failing to be responsible for their own kid. This has gone on too long in this city. They fuck with everybody walking along in Westport and have ruined it and now the Plaza. They would not let 500 white kids congregate and act like this but in an effort to avoid any perceived trace of racism they won’t do shit. This has to be stopped now. Let’s not forget what occurs in KC next summer. The MLB All-Star game. The game draws people from all over the world and at some point most of the tourists will visit the Plaza. They will have lots of cash on them because they are on vacation. Throw huge numbers of thugs in and we have a disaster in the making. We will never live this down. All the tourists will go back to where they are from with only memories of being gangked on the Plaza and telling all their friends what an out of control shithole KC is. Just because they don’t want to run off a bunch of black kids who are not spending a penny at the retailers and ruining everybody’s good time.

  3. Hearne says:

    My point being that…
    By the time they get anything ineffect, the problem likely will have sailed. Happens every year, guys and grrrls. It’s seasonal for the most part. And weather driven.

    Sly undoubtedly knows this. That’s why at 10 :18 p.m. last night and (probably) in today’s actual newspaper Star – the one that gets the news to its paying class readers dead last, yet generates 90 percent of the income – Sly opted to blow the issue off. He knew summer was almost over.

    But it backfired on him.

    Even at 9 p.m. last night – and earlier, as Mermaid noted – it was obvious that something really bad was about to go down. Now it’s kind of a Royals and Chiefs kinda deal; just wait till next year.

  4. harley says:

    the problem isn’t over….its just continues under the radar
    this problem will continue…whether in the winter or fall. The underlying problem is poverty.
    Plain and simple. and that leads to the problems we are having in this nation.
    whatever our answers to it are…it will continue to become more dangerous.
    Just because the cold comes doesn’t mean the heat of rage is ending.
    We are headed to some tough times.
    Viva la revolucion!

  5. Captain Hero says:

    Single Party chinese please
    Follow me for a minute here. The Chinese single party system (don’t call it communism, it quit being that in 1978) has had 6 consecutive peaceful changes in leadership now. Only the best and brightest are allowed to be party members. When and issue comes up, there is democracy within the party, a debate is held within the party and then at the conclusion, the party comes to a decision and then they move forward as a country. Sometimes this works well (monetary policy for one) and sometimes not so well (you have no recourse as a citiszen when they decide to turn your property into a lake because they want to build a dam) …..the point is…in China, where the party, full of the nations best and brightest…make all the moves….they APPOINT qualified people to be mayors of their big cities. What they do not do and what they do not want, is to give a whole bunch of uneducated, poor idiots the power to run a city. …..they don’t want one of their cities to be Kansas City. You can bet your ass that Chin Wang Long, having been appointed by the party to run Shanghai, is sure as hell going to do everything in his power to make sure all the merchants in town are taken care of. …penniless peasants be damned! ….Sly James doesn’t have the will or the political muscle to move on this…..his base IS the problem.

  6. newbaum turk says:

    Harley, I’m going to have to respectfully disagree with you that this was poverty driven. Not in this case specific. I understand and support your call for revolution. Wall Street and D.C. are screwing ALL of us in the bottom 99%. However, these kids are not making a social statement. They are not marching on Selma. This is simply opportunism at its worst. They don’t have a clue about what is happening in London (or what Selma is for that matter). I spend a lot of time on Troost. The things I see are astounding. Go to an urban clothing store sometime and check out the prices on the clothes some of these kids wear. Many of the kids I see on Troost are wearing at least $300 in clothing all the time. I guarantee almost every kid on the Plaza has a nicer cell phone than me. And the cars I see. Thousands of dollars in custom paint, stereos, rims, etc. Remember a few years ago when the mayor of Cleveland was on TV complaining his schools were empty that day? You know why they were empty? The new $200 Air Jordans were coming out that day and all these kids on welfare were skipping school to buy $200 shoes (his words, not mine). Shoes are a priority, not education. This is reinforced by their high school dropout mother and absentee father who is dead or in prison. I’m sick of hearing this line of shit that the kids are bored and have nothing to do. All of us were once 16, bored, and had nothing to do. The difference being I stood outside of liquor stores asking adults to buy me beer and hope I could find a girl to give me a hand job. These thugs go to the Plaza, shoot people, ruin everybody’s good time, and knock some 16 year old bitch up. And then have nothing to do with the kid. Giving P.C. names to this problem and not addressing the real issue helps nobody.16

  7. BarKeeper says:

    Bannister Mall Revisited
    If somebody in power doesn’t grow a real set of balls right quick, you can kiss the beloved Plaza goodbye. You only have to steal a few purses and shove a few peaceful shoppers around for the word to spread and normal folks will cross it off their list. And guess what? They never return.
    Bannister Mall, in a misguided effort to be PC, gave away a multi-million dollar business to a mob of totally worthless teenage slugs who they allowed to shoplift at will and terrorize and bully customers and their gray-headed toothless security force riding around the property in Pintos with flashing lights on top. Every evening totally worthless parents would “dump” their ignorant lawless spawn at the Mall and the rest is history.

  8. Beat em all says:

    Respect through fear. It mus tbe made clear to ALL non spending people that
    they are NOT welcome at the Palze, and use the billyt clubs to hit em in the head.
    Put the fear of getting theri assesd kicked in them, make those fkn losers so afraid
    to come to the Plaza…then they will stay away….

    Do you know want to know how I know this??

    First hand treatment. I NEVER go over bars or restaurant on troost anymore
    Becasue I fear that I will get my ass kicked…… so turn about is fair play.

    Start kicking those losers asses and keep the Plaza like it should be kept, and
    tell those children to go back where they came from…. Round em, call the parents
    and fine the parents…fine the parents $100..thne 500 then 1000 then put them to death

    Hell, I would even favor 60th trimester abortions to help solve the losser youth problem.
    Most of these worthless eater never should have been born… it is never too late to abort them.

    If they wanna be cool, and be productive and do some good in this country…fine. I am not
    racist… I love all people of all colors …but I am finished dealing with worthless eaters. My
    commetns are only directed at them….anyone doing good. addinf to amke it all better, no problem,
    but if you wanna hang out and harrass cops..just waiting to start breaking into shops on the PLaza
    to get you free shit….FK YOU …YOU ARE DEAD!!!! YOU WIN A 65TH TRIMESTER ABORTION…

    racsit?? tough shit. The fear factor ruined Bannister mall, dont let it ruin the Plaza

  9. bjayhawk says:

    Just keep ignoring the problem until it is over…right
    Just keeping towing the policitcally correct line and hoping things will get better, KC — good luck with that.

    It’s been said, but what is needed is fear. That’s all these fucks respect, so give it to them in generous helpings. Why the FUCK do I have to let the good things about this town be overrun by a bunch of unsupervised blacks.

    And about the parents. That’s a fucking hoot. Who do you think their parents are? They are drug dealers, strung out, absent — doing anything but worrying about their kids. So don’t ask them for help — they are unable and unwilling. All that will work at this time is harsh police action to keep what is ours — ours. That bunch of urban youth is lost, so why fucking worry about them, just keep them out. Throwing money at the problem does not hep — just keep them the fuck out.

  10. Question says:

    I have an honest question…….

    Where do all the young white kids go? Why is it only black kids down there?

    Is there a possible solution the answer? … Why does it have to be a black and white issue?

  11. mermaid says:

    Because it is a black and white issue….
    Young white kids go to the malls or friends houses or whatever. Don’t be stupid. The Plaza nor the patrons of the Plaza want black kids hanging out! Now they are shooting guns and now they have to go bye bye! White kids don’t hang out – they go to a movie or shop- they are not causing problems. Why does this need explained?

  12. mermaid says:

    Sorry Question had me in such a flurry I forgot to put don’t want in my sentence!

  13. Question says:

    Hey mermaid,

    Kids are kids, it is not a black thing… what ever mobs of whites kids are doing….whatever Hispanic kids are doing… maybe the black kids can do …. as opposed to loitering in a high end shopping district..

    I am trying to help find a solution not be a red neck, cross burning, KKK member piece of shit like you.

  14. PB says:

    At Home?
    Question 05:55:49 AM – Mon. Aug 15. 2011

    I have an honest question…….

    Where do all the young white kids go?

    Simple answer, many of them are at home engaging in underage drinking under the “supervision” of their upstanding parents.

  15. Hearne Christopher says:

    I think as a whole, the young white kids are better off economically and have quite a few more options.

  16. Hearne Christopher says:

    mermaid has a point

  17. Hearne Christopher says:

    Wherever the “white kids” go, I think it’s a pretty safe bet that unless they’re pretty dramatically unruly, they don’t cause the stir and discomfort that the large groups of black kids are causing on the Plaza.

    It’s definitely racist to a point. The Plaza and its upscale clientele are uneasy with large groups of black kids filling the sidewalks. Would they be equally uneasy if the kids were white largely?

    No way. They’d probably not give it a second thought. Unfortunately.

  18. Hearne Christopher says:


  19. Question says:

    ..and what was that point?
    I missed that point, what was it?

    My point was, unless someone is a racist piece of shit, then one thinks kids are kids…
    It dos not have to bea black thing…….
    BUT as long as people want to make it a black thing…then I guess it will be a black thing…

    I would like to think kids are kids…and maybe find solutions in what other kids are doing….
    why that would get someone is a “FLURRY” is beyond me.

  20. Question says:

    Looking for solutiions
    I am uncomfortable with large groups of any homogenous humans…black, white, old…
    hell, if a group of 1000 toddelrs starting crawling around on the Plaza it would concern me.

    White kids these day ??…they are basicall black… listening tio ememe and rap..and acting black,
    are you people paying attention? ANY large group of loitering poor people is a concen….Next year
    it may be senior citizen out there with ther walkers, pissed of and broke cuz thier pesnions were cut….

    It is probably a rich/poor thing…. and that divide is growing…. we need long term solutions…not racism

  21. Hearne Christopher says:

    I walked the block in front of Cinemark eastward toward Brio on the corner, around 9:15 p.m. Saturday. I was following the four mounted police and their horses trying to get a better photo.

    In doing so I had to tread somewhat carefully not to bump into anybody because the sidewalk was so crowded. Primarily with young black kids. It wasn’t that it was scary or that anybody was acting up at that exact minute.

    But it was obviously a very uncomfortable situation for all concerned. The kids really didn’t have any particular place to go and knew, if only from the police presence, that they were unwelcome.

    The other thing was that I have been on that block dozens of times, often with my daughters going to Urban Outfitters, and at it’s most crowded times, it was never this densely packed. It was almost like walking thru a parade crowd.

    And the night was obviously young.

  22. mermaid says:

    I did not mean to be racist. I would love for everyone to get along and love each other but unfortunately I have learned that there will never be peace or world peace. I heard the news today about the situation and they were saying the black kids needed a “fun” place to hang out. I’m sure the city is going to pay for that! The whole deal sickens me actually because those kids are screwed. No one wants them and the city isn’t going to help them. But the fact is there was a shooting so they are going to target whoever did the shootings- black,white,hispanic- doesn’t matter. If I had the money I would help those kids but even the whites are economically challenged these days and everything trickles down. The days that lie ahead are going to be bad. Someday we might even find ourselves looking at army trucks cruising the streets because everyone is going to have to protect themselves -rich poor white and black. Only time will tell and if this economy doesn’t do 360 turn we may all be in trouble. “I have a dream….”

  23. PB says:

    My Point Was…
    …sort of what you’re saying…it’s not really a black or white issue as it is about what someone mentioned earlier…opportunity. If white kids congregated in those sorts of numbers, there would probably be some issues as well. It’s simply young punks with NO RESPECT (in my mind, where much of our society’s current ills can be traced to) causing trouble because they can. White kids are just more mobile with their own rides, more spread out in neighborhoods across the metro and yes, DRINKING at home where it is often ALLOWED by their “hip” parents.

    Certainly don’t want to make excuses for those involved and hope the city comes down hard and fast on this problem before it gets worse, but this is mostly all about parents not doing their job. Those (like myself) who live in lower socio-economic areas should be even more diligent about not letting their kids just run the street, but unfortunately, most aren’t. If it were more about protecting your kids from themselves (and others) then these sort of problems wouldn’t exist in the first place.

  24. chuck says:

    Don’t be intimidated by the scarlet “Racist” insult.

    The Mayor of the city was drug to the ground, while still ANOTHER African American flash mob created mayhem, destruction, drew firearms and shot randomly into a crowd.

    In the face of this disgusting, violent behaviour, if someone calls you a racist, it is a sling and an arrow expected and earned by way of your truth.


    That term, is now the last defense of those unredeemable idiots who elect themselves arbiters of our social conscience, in order to divert attention from the criminality and lack of responsibility that permeates the African American culture.

    Unless you conform to a worn out narrative that would have us trying to stop thugs in the street to hold hands and sing Kumbaya, your a fuckin racist.

    Me, I think your beng realistic, not racist.

  25. Super Dave says:

    Not Being Realistic is Really The Problem
    Yes I agree being realistic about things can cause those who can’t face reality to come unglued upon you.

    Lets see if Sly, Brooks and the other so called black leaders of the community who were on the Plaza saturday night can man up and admit to what the real issue is here.

    The issues can’t be fixed till these so called leaders and speakers of the people will stand up and admit the problem comes from them not being able to tell people of their own race to be better parents and to join together on helping their own instead of coming together and finger pointing all the time.

    Nope till they can admit they are the problem the problem won’t get fixed.

    Instead they will look for an excuse any excuse to shift the blame as to why what happens, happens as they all stand around looking innocent.

  26. Question says:

    nicely restated mermaid
    ….if I unleash on the first I didint like…
    then I make sure to compliment on the second which was good. peace

  27. Question says:

    humans are fail
    The bottom line is humans and the 220 year freedom test has failed. In a country where we were allowed to do what we want and helped those who needed a handout…and we wrote laws ensuring equal rights for all…. and had programs to makes sure all are equal… WHAT DO WE DO?…… We are pathetic subdivided racist….. We elect a black mayor ….We elect a black president ….a black woman is the most most powerful person on TV(Oprah)… and what we do we have? We are shouting it is a black problem on the plaza …… WE SAY IT IS NOT a youth probelm…IT HAS TO BE A BLACK PROBLEM… IT IS NOT KIDS..IT IS BLACKS…. yeah… good for us…. how simple of us….. what have we become..what are we?

    FUCK US… FUCK HUMANS…WE SUCK… IN 2011 YEARS WE CAN NOT GET OUR SHIT TOGETHER??? We can not live in peace?….we still have to have wars(3 of them right now)….. these is still starvation….. and riots in London….. mass murdereers in Norway… corruption in Wshington…… multiple upon multiple sex freeks in elected office…. crack head mayors of Washington DC…. WE CAN NTO FIND BETTER LEADERS THAN THIS??? WE ARE FREE? WE HAVE ELECTIONS….WE HAVE GOOD LAWS…… and what do we do…… we juts keep fucking up….We make sure to have a system of haves and havbe nots….and the haves looktheir nose down upon people who have less…. and it pisses off the unlucky, not born with a daddy to hand them success…… The system is rigged……. You destiny is decided by age 8……. Yeah, we humans suck…… maybe we do deserve a massive solar plasma blast which kills ALL life on this miserable blue dot….

    If we cant get it right in 4000 years, we are probably unable to ever get it right…fk us…. fk humans…. bunch of stupid greedy fuckhead we are…… and yes I am taking responsibility for my fellow man, we are all in this together….. fuck us…start over….try it again…maybe next go round we will figure out how to live in peace…. it seems so easy….. but then again we are humans…… killing and beating and hating our own specises is what we do.

  28. chuck says:

    Thats real interesting.
    Now go home and take care of your fuckin kids.

  29. Question says:

    For the record, I never had fkn kids. I was never ready to have kids….but I see plenty of other assholes were happy to make up for it. Just today I saw another program about the starving kids in Africa…..What the hell?…..when I was a kid (30 years ago) I saw Sally Strutehrs whining about the starving kids in Africa…. AND NOW!?!?!?!? WHATTHEFUCK?!?!?!!? THE STARVING KIDS HAD STARVING KIDS??



    When a 14 years has a baby, she is only 24 when that kids is 10……. were YOU worthy to give a 10 year old child guidence when YOU were 24…how about 26?….. but we live in a society that pushes people to have children when they are pregnant…even though there are easy procedures to not have the kid…… Our society pushes sex sex sex… sex sells in clothes music and ads…… then kids have sex, get pregnant, and then our society says “yes 14 years old girl, ytou must have that child”…..and then people wonder why the resultant kids are so fkd up?

  30. SAD SAD SAD says:

    Coming to a store near you soon.

    Police Let Flash Mob Rob 7-11 in Montgomery County, Maryland was hit by a flash mob on August 13, 2011.


  31. Hearne Christopher says:

    I really think the “flash mob” tag is way overused.


    For obvious reasons, it sounds trendy and sexy. But a flash mob comes together in a flash via text and other instant communication. These movie kid crowds are totally not flash, they’re “regulars” who have been hanging at the Plaza, Crown Center, Ward Parkway and Cinemark Merriam for years. Like more than 10.

    There may be a handful of flashers that come to the scene when something breaks but this is an unattended movie kid crowd gathering.

    The flash mob tag make it sexier and seem more urgent, like it’s got to be stopped. The mainstream media needs to clue in.

  32. SAD SAD SAD says:

    You see a video of a bunch of people ransacking and stealing from a store….. A SCARY BUNCH OF PEOPLE….. and your reaction is to be irritated at the main stream media for the label they are putting on the fucking mobs??

    Whta are you going to say when this comes local.

    What do you have to say about some people claiming this black rioting comes from the top,THE VERY TOP…

    I am aware it sounds racist and conspircay…..but what else makes sense?… the police are ignoring, calling it simple shop lifting….the way police around the country are handling big mobs of black beating up on white people is very interesting.. If it was white mobs on blacks it would be labled hate crime.

    Do search for Las vegas store looted by mob, philly mobs attack whites…. Chicago balck mobs attack whites…… Wisconsin State Fair black mobs attack white people….. this is growing and it is odd…the poilce act like they have been told to ignore it….told by whom? ….the top?

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