Close to 200 people came to a meeting Wednesday night hosted by the Cleveland Heights-University Heights Public Library and the Heights Community Congress to discuss the problems after recent community events like the Coventry Street Arts Fair.
At least 30 people spoke their mind about the recent "flash mob" outbreaks and the "riot" that occurred after the Coventry fair June 26.
As a result, the next festival, which was scheduled for July 24, is now canceled.
The purpose of the forum wasn't to solve the problems that can happen when several kids from different cities gather in one area, but rather let residents start a dialogue about possible solutions, said Heights Community Congress Executive Director Kasey Greer.
"I was there," said resident Leatrice Tolls of the Coventry street festival. "It was not a riot. They showed up at 5 (p.m.) and they ran down the street in unison. That's all they did, and that's not illegal."
Tolls said the problem didn't start two weeks ago at that festival, it started years ago, and it's not about black and white, it's about fear.
Residents said that some people have brought race into the discussion of flash crowds, and that's not the issue.
"People are afraid, and they're saying stupid things," an emotional Tolls said. "We have to rein in that fear. Let's get real, and let's give them something to do."
In response to the incidents after the fair, when fights broke out and 16 people were arrested, Cleveland Heights City Council quickly implemented a 6 p.m. curfew in the Coventry and Cedar Lee business districts at the end of June and revised the rules at its July 5 meeting.
One resident questioned whether the new 6 p.m. curfew was targeting black youth and if any arrests have been made since its implementation.
"Is the curfew being enforced universally? Yes, it is," Cleveland Heights Police Chief Jeffrey Robertson said. "It's been a situation where the kids have responded pretty well. We've made a couple of arrests. The arrests we made were after we advised a few juveniles that they were in violation."
The juveniles left the area, but then came back and were then arrested, Robertson said.
"We are still trying to get the word out to the youth," he said. "If someone is going to be advised of the ordinance and come back and cause a disturbance, they're going to run the risk of getting arrested."
There was a small youth presence at the forum, and some said there were no targeted activities for kids in the city.
"I don't like the curfew," said 17-year-old Leshaunne Pitmon. "What if I wanted to go get some pizza after 6 p.m.? I can't. Many of the people who cause these problems don't care about the curfew. Giving consequences to the people who are there every day isn't fair."