Kansas City Mayor Sly James said Sunday that the Rock the Block event, which ended earlier than scheduled on Saturday night after fights broke out among youths, will be evaluated in light of the trouble.
“As we do every year, we will evaluate ClubKC, Mayor's Nights and Rock the Block and engage the community — and most importantly the youth of Kansas City — to determine what they want and need for fun and safe activities,” James said in a statement.
The end-of-summer event in front of Union Station got going in the afternoon and was to continue until 11 p.m. But organizers closed the gates and ended the event about 10 p.m. after fights broke out and a few people were arrested.
Rock the Block is one of many programs, along with youth athletic leagues and arts and education opportunities, intended to give young people something fun and constructive to do during the summer instead of congregating at entertainment districts. The programs drew about 8,500 young people this year.
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“It was unfortunate that we had to end Rock the Block early because of a few troublemakers,” James said. “But it was the right call to make for the safety of hundreds of youth and families who enjoyed the games, community tent, hot dogs, dancing, talent performances and fashion show.
“Special thanks to the Kansas City police officers who handled the isolated instances well and deescalated the situation for the safety of all,” James added.
Police Chief Darryl Forté earlier on Sunday tweeted that “the negative actions of a few shouldn't overshadow summer-long positive aspects of #MayorsNightsKC.”
Forté thanked James for the vision of the program and for the funding.
“You helped keep our kids safe all summer,” he said.
Staff writer Ian Cummings contributed to this report.
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