Authorities say rapper Machine Gun Kelly organized a flash mob at a suburban Cleveland mall and was charged with disorderly conduct.
Strongsville police say the group gathered Saturday, and mall management asked three people standing on a table near a second-floor railing to step down. Kelly was among the three. When they refused, police were called.
Police say they're no longer in custody. Kelly tweeted later that "today was a statement."
Sean "P. Diddy" Combs told MTV this month that he signed Kelly, an Ohio native, to his Bad Boy Records label. "Machine Gun" was the nickname of George Kelly, a Prohibition-era gangster.
Flash mobs are when a large group of people, often strangers, mobilize through viral emails or social media to meet in a specific place to partake in a particular activity as a group for a short duration of time before abruptly leaving. The practice began spreading in New York City in June 2003. Originally used as a means for entertainment or peaceful practical jokes, the organizing of flash mobs for vandalism and violence has emerged with several alarming incidents in recent months.
Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter has enforced a strict curfew for minors and condemned youths responsible for organizing and taking part in a string of violent flash mob attacks in the city's downtown this summer.
“'You’ve damaged yourself, you’ve damaged another person, you’ve damaged your peers and, quite honestly, you’ve damaged your own race,' Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter said in a fiery address before his congregation Sunday. 'You damaged your own race.'”
Earlier this month, the Los Angeles County sheriff’s department said rapper The Game incited a telephone flash mob that overwhelmed the emergency phone system. After 'tweeting' his 580,000 followers to simultaneously call in to the Compton police station, deputies say their phone lines were jammed for more than two hours, hampering their ability to answer phones and dispatch personnel to those in true danger and in need of police support.
The Plain Dealer reports that Cleveland's mayor recently vetoed an ordinance that would have criminalized some uses of social media and was aimed at curbing flash mobs.
The Associated Press contributed to this article.