Police in Georgia were surprised by a massive party held in a public park, which reportedly turned violent. Allegedly, underage drinking spawned charges for the minor consumption of alcohol. Moreover, two women were shot. According to the public safety chief for DeKalb County, where the party took place, the incident came as a shock to them. He promised that the authorities would be more prepared in the future for these kinds of unsanctioned parties, which could include the filing of underage alcohol charges in appropriate circumstances.
The party occurred on Easter and apparently involved some 1,500 young people close to Stone Mountain. Police say they saw underage drinking and drug use. The authorities noted that the organizers of the party did not have the necessary permits to serve alcohol, nor did they the required approval to have a DJ.
Police say that the party was scheduled to begin late Easter afternoon and had been publicized via social media outlets under a specific hashtag. According to authorities, the quick spread of news relating to the event via social media is not a surprise, especially because it involved young people. Authorities said they plan to monitor social media closer in the future, so they can prepare for similar events ahead of time.
In large party situations, where alcohol and kids under the age of 21 are present, the Georgia police may have cause to arrest numerous young people on underage alcohol charges. Nevertheless, some who are arrested in these situations may not have been drinking at all. The burden of proving the charges, however, is on prosecutors, and they must be able to establish their case by specific and relevant evidence that meets the strict requirements of our court system. Failing that, the charge cannot be sustained, and no conviction can occur.
Source: www.ajc.com, “Police caught off guard by huge park gathering where 2 women…“, Marcus K. Garner and Mike Morris, April 21, 2014