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Release of Nike Air Jordan Concord Triggers Chaos Nationwide

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Sneaker brings pushing fouls and worse at mall

The release of Nike’s newest Air Jordan sneaker was met with snaking crowds and impatience at shopping malls across the country Friday. In Tukwila, police say shoving, punching, booze and drugs were part of an early-morning pre-Christmas mall scene.
Police from across the Seattle area were called to Westfield Southcenter mall early Friday when a rowdy crowd of 2,000 showed up to buy the $180 Air Jordan XI, the newest version of the classic Nike shoe.
Some in the crowd got so out of hand that police used pepper spray on about 20 people in an attempt to get things under control. An 18-year-old man was arrested after punching an officer in the face; arrests also were reported at stores in Georgia and Michigan.
Tukwila police were woefully understaffed and didn’t anticipate the crowd of nearly 2,000, said Tukwila police Officer Mike Murphy. Officers at the mall called in their full night-shift staff as well as officers from Seattle, Kent, Renton, Des Moines and the King County Sheriff’s Office, said Murphy.
When two off-duty Tukwila officers — hired by the mall to deal with the shoe’s release at four different stores — arrived at Southcenter at 3 a.m., crowds were manageable, Murphy said. Within two hours, however, the number of hopeful buyers swelled to nearly 2,000. People there for the shoe release were cutting in line, pushing, fighting, drinking and smoking marijuana, Murphy said.
Nike’s release of the Air Jordan 11 Concord sneakers is causing Black Friday-levels of pandemonium at retailers nationwide.
Customers are desperate for the $180 limited-edition shoes.

9,000 swoosh into Louisville’s Jefferson Mall in rowdy rush for Nikes

There were pepper-sprayed customers near Seattle and arrests near Atlanta — all for want of a shoe.
And at Louisville’s Jefferson Mall, a rowdy crowd of an estimated 9,000 people rushed the doors at 4 a.m. Friday, with some jostling for the right to own a pair of Nike’s $180 Air Jordan sneakers, the “11 Retro Concords.”
Pandemonium broke out after a virtual stampede by the large crowd waiting to purchase the new shoe, said Carey Klain, a Louisville Metro Police spokesman. No arrests were made and the scene was cleared just before 5 a.m, she said.
Officers from the Seventh Division were dispatched at 4:02 a.m., Klain said. Emergency Medical Services was also dispatched and checked people at the scene, but no one was transported to a hospital, she said.
People were already lining up outside Jefferson Mall at 10:30 p.m. Thursday, when Ryan Weathers, assistant manager at Footaction, left for home. When the mall reopened early at 4 a.m., the now-larger crowd began jockeying for position to reach one of the several retailers inside selling the sought-after shoe.
A shoe release draws big crowds about every year before Christmas, but none recently with quite as much fervor, Weathers said. “They were basically just trying to bum-rush the place,” he said.

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