Fight at Cici's Pizza led to Kroger parking lot attack

(WMC) - As of Tuesday 11 arrests have been made, so far, in connection with the attacks that happened in a Kroger parking lot on Saturday night.

Memphis Police Department Director Toney Armstrong said a fight between two groups of teenagers at Cici's Pizza spilled out into the parking lot and turned into a flash mob of teenagers in the Kroger parking lot. It resulted in the attacks of four people: two Kroger employees, a Kroger customer, and a mom leaving CiCi's Pizza.

Social media has been abuzz about whether the attacks in the parking lot should be considered a hate crime.

Armstrong said the fight began between two groups of female African-American teenagers. The victims attacked in the Kroger parking lot were both black and white. So it is not being investigated as a hate crime, as announced during another news conference Tuesday.

The Shelby County District Attorney answered the hate crime question, after hundreds of complaints.

"The current civil rights intimidation statute in Tennessee does not cover the facts as we know them right now," DA Amy Weirich said. "You have to show that someone's constitutional rights were denied because of the actions of someone else."

The DA has confirmed a multi-agency gang unit is working on this investigation.

Ten teens and one adult are now arrested, according to Memphis police.

"I've seen that video, and it sickens me. It sickens me because my mother frequents that parking lot, that plaza. That could've very easily been an elderly person," Memphis Police Director Toney Armstrong said.

Contrary to popular belief, the police director said there's no rogue group terrorizing East Memphis.

"[Two girls] encountered each other and that fight did ensue between these two African-American females," Armstrong said.

On Tuesday, WMC Action News 5 learned there are now four victims, including two white males, a black male, and a black female.

A mom leaving CiCi's Pizza says the mob attacked and vandalized her car. The DA could also try some suspects as adults.

The vice president for CiCi's Pizza released the following statement:

"We are working with our local franchisee and police to determine the exact chain of events and assist in their investigation in any way we can. We want to make it clear there was no altercation inside our Poplar Plaza restaurant on Saturday night, and the teenagers who were in our restaurant left without incident over a period of about 30 minutes when we began closing. The restaurant and shopping center security officers alerted police when events began to unfold outside the restaurant, and police have more details of what took place from that point. For the safety of our guests, we have implemented additional security measures, including adjusting our hours as needed and disallowing unaccompanied minors from entering the restaurant for the time being."

"There are certain charges that meet that test and the others don't," Weirich said

The police director calls this an isolated incident. Both the director and the DA are asking the community to use this incident as a platform to talk about parenting.

"We will not stop, we will not stop until we find out if we have all the responsible parties," Armstrong said.

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