EAST ST. LOUIS, IL. (KTVI) – An alarming video of a Tuesday afternoon brawl at a social services office in East St. Louis had workers and clients concerned for their safety and brought calls for action.
A witness told FOX2 it began as a dispute over a place in line.
In spite of all the flying fists, there have been no arrests.
Workers and clients said that had to change.
State and local authorities didn`t know about the video until FOX 2 News alerted them.
East St. Louis Mayor, Alvin Parks, called for metal detectors at office at 9th and Missouri.
He said in today’s climate of mass shootings, such behavior was unacceptable, especially at a state office serving large numbers of people.
Sources said the fighting started even before the video started rolling at the Illinois Department of Human Services Office.
The video shows at least 4 women involved in the brawl, with fists flying from one side of the lobby to the other.
‘Yeah, I`m shocked man. I`m shocked,’ said past client, Detria Graves, as he watched the video, which had been posted on YouTube.
‘Definitely something needs to be done, it`s ridiculous,’ said DeShanea Stevenson, who`d often been to the office with her 3 year old son. ‘They just do that all the time, at the aid office. That`s what happens. It`s like nobody really cares.’
The police chief said security guards had the situation under control and the scene, about 6 blocks from the police station, was cleared by the time officers arrived. So, there were no arrests.
Office staff and past clients hoped the video would change that.
‘It`s just been cool, everybody standing in line, doing what they do, trying to get their stamps, trying to get, you know, whatever they`re trying to get. It`s never been like this in there,’ Graves said.
‘If I had my son with me, I`d be mad. I`d be very upset. No telling what`s going on. You never know what people have on them. You never know what could happen. Bullets don`t have names on them,’ Stevenson said.
There were no serious injuries reported.
A spokeswoman with the State Department of Human Services in Springfield said the staff was unaware of the video, until FOX 2 alerted them.
She said staff would review it and decide how to proceed.
Parks said it could have been worse; one of those involved apparently wanted to use a pair of scissors at the scene as a weapon; security guards prevented that.
He said police would review the video, too, and hopefully track down the people involved.