20 Aug 2014
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College Fight Video Goes Viral; Sparks Racism, Concerns

Bystander footage of a brawl on the STLCC-Meramec campus on Monday has netted more than 18,000 page views on a video hosting website and has triggered comments by concerned readers.

The accompanying video of the brawl that broke out on the St. Louis Community College at Meramec campus has gone viral and it has elicited some disturbing comments on a video hosting site.

More than 18,000 people have viewed the video that is hosted on eBaum's World, and more than 2,000 people have recommended the link on Facebook. The number of page views on eBaum's world is increasing by the minute.

The video was originally hosted on YouTube, but then pulled for violating the website's terms of service. Among YouTube's terms of use service is a prohibition on "graphic or gratuitous violence.... If your video shows someone being physically hurt, attacked, or humiliated, don't post it."

(Note: A short time later, the video was reposted on YouTube and age-restricted.)

Patch editors made the judgment that the news value of the video warranted running it, with appropriate adjustments in the video's volume because of the profanity involved.

Three students were arrested after the fight on charges of assault and their cases were referred to Kirkwood Municipal Court. Five students directly involved in the fight have been expelled and two student sustained minor injuries from the altercation. 

(Editor's Note: The accompanying video is the same full-length version of the fight that's on eBaum's World, however it has been edited to reduce the volume, which contains profanities.)

Top comments on eBaum's World include racial slurs and hate speech against African-Americans and include very explicit language. "The comments left on the original video site are very scary," a reader says on Kirkwood Patch Facebook.

Closer to Home

On local news websites, reports of the incident have triggered concerns that a toddler was involved in the fray and raised questions about campus security and the response of police to the incident. A commenter on Fox2now.com who says she's the mother of a student at the campus says:

I want to know what Meramec is going to do to make sure students are safe inside and out on that campus...it took WAY TOO LONG for people in charge to get there. All it would have took was for one gun to be pulled and this would have been a much more tragic news story. Lets not make this a racial issue—its a morality and safety issue.

Although the accompanying bystander video shows police on the scene within 90 seconds, Delancey Smith, director of communications for STLCC, told Kirkwood Patch the college believes police were on the scene much earlier. A statement released by the college Thursday says police were on the scene "within seconds."

A commenter on The Montage website says:

Seriously, a woman put her baby at risk to join in the fight, and the people fighting had no regard for her or her baby.

Another commenter on The Montage article says:

Looks to me like more than three people were involved in the fighting. Wonder why only three were arrested?

The accompanying raw footage shows more than three people fighting. Campus police had not filed an official incident report as of Thursday afternoon.

And then there are concerns that the fight is typical of the college campus. A commenter on Kirkwood Patch Facebook says:

The video of the fight is nauseating. I hate that it's becoming like that there.

A Kirkwood Patch user commented on that reported the expulsion of five students directly involved with the fight.

That's Meramec? I remember when Meramec was considered the safe and respectable community college to attend. No wonder they built a community college in Wildwood.

Your Turn

With all the online buzz surrounding this video, we would like to hear what you think about the incident. Chime in by leaving a comment.

(Editor's Note: Kirkwood Patch will moderate comments to ensure that they do not include profanities or slander.)

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