It was disturbing to watch the various videos online of the Boardwalk incidents in Ocean City last weekend. That’s not the type of atmosphere Ocean City should ever tolerate, but a proper perspective is needed before coming to a conclusion regarding safety in the resort based on a single night’s events. The fact is it’s extremely rare for these types of serious occurrences to take place in Ocean City. That’s why it’s such a big deal when these sorts of unfortunate incidents take place.
It’s important to realize this situation on the Boardwalk when hundreds comprise an unruly crowd intent on wreaking havoc could have quickly taken a turn for the worst. I truly believe the intent of the rabble-rousers was to elicit an aggressive reaction from police officers. Why else would a man throw a trashcan on a busy Boardwalk? Why else would people threaten tram drivers to the point the service was shut down on a Saturday night before 8? It’s evident to me the trouble makers were baiting the police and there were hundreds of cell phones around to document a reaction that went too far. The calm and professional actions of the police officers meant the difference between the situation making national news and staying on the local media front.
If there was a misstep or overly aggressive response by the police, the situation would have blown up nationally, resulting in a public relations nightmare for Ocean City at the height of the season. As I watched several videos of police making arrests and using moderate force at times to gain compliance from the individuals, it was evident there was remarkable restraint being exercised. In some cases, police had to use some physical might and threaten bystanders with arrests through blunt language to get things under control, but that was needed. It was handled remarkably well by law enforcement and there’s no doubt this situation could have easily escalated in severity. The police deserve credit for preventing that from happening.
Congratulations to Brian Raschka for the social media post of the week. As is often the case, the newspaper gets bashed in the comments section on our page for reporting the facts of a story when they don’t jive with people’s personal beliefs of what transpired. In total this week, there were about 600 comments made on various stories and posts. Many of those comments were nasty, absurd and full of hate for the resort.
With tongue firmly planted in cheek, Raschka commented on a funnel cloud photo posted on the paper’s Facebook page Wednesday as part of ongoing thunderstorm coverage. It’s almost as if the man was reading my mind through his hyperbole and humor.
“Ocean City really needs to get it together… Letting these funnel clouds into my resort town… It’s supposed to be a family friendly town. Now I’m going to be afraid to walk down the street whenever there’s a storm… Really disappointing OC,” the post read.
That was perfect.