A predominantly black crowd of Juneteenth revelers cheered as a white woman was savagely beaten in the streets of a Long Branch, New Jersey commercial district while the city marked the nation’s first Juneteenth federal holiday. Police from several jurisdictions later responded to the scene while retail employees remained trapped in their shops as the celebration commemorating the end of slavery devolved into a riot.
According to local media reports, the Juneteenth celebration, held in Long Branch’s Pier Village, devolved into a full-scale riot with hundreds of celebration attendees turning on their host city and smashing up businesses and property throughout the Pier Village area.
Local police advised residents to avoid the area, dispatching officers in riot gear to quell the unrest as retail employees, many of whom are under the age of 18, remained trapped in their places of employment as the crowd targeted storefronts for destruction. Additionally, police advised that “numerous fights” involving attacks on officers had broken out in the streets.