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  • 22

    Brawls Mar Juneteenth
    General; Posted on: 2007-06-19 07:39:38 [ Printer friendly / Instant flyer ]
    Police shut fest down after two are stabbed

    By Robert A. Baker and Pam Lundborg
    Staff writers

    Syracuse's Juneteenth celebration was shut down by police three hours early Saturday night after fights broke out among youths.

    As fights erupted at the Clinton Square festival, hundreds of youths surged through the square and surrounding streets. Deputy Police Chief Frank Fowler made the decision to close the event at 8:10 p.m.

    Two people were stabbed, one at the edge of the square and another near East Washington and South Warren streets, Fowler said. The wounds were not life threatening, Fowler said.

    The festival marks June 19, 1865, the day the last American slaves heard news they were free. Over the years, the festival and parade have become a celebration of African-American culture.

    Police arrested 14 people, including one juvenile, Fowler said. A suspect in one of the stabbings was among those arrested, Fowler said. There was no gunfire, the deputy chief said.

    Names of the injured and arrested were not immediately available. The investigation is continuing, Fowler said.

    Most of the day was great, said organizers, who placed the blame on youths attending the event.

    Fowler agreed, calling the troublemakers "a group of young people with no intention to enjoy the festival."

    "I am highly, highly, highly disappointed," said Roosevelt "Rick" Wright Jr., who was the stage master of ceremonies for the event.

    "We have got to educate the young people of the historical importance of Juneteenth," Wright said. "This is a most holy occasion. Juneteenth is a celebration of freedom."

    Read On
    News Source: Syracuse.com


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