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Police say no reports of ‘knockout’ in Phoenix

It’s happened in New York, Pittsburgh, St. Louis and even London. A game where innocent people are viciously attacked hasn’t spread to Phoenix… yet.

It’s called ‘knockout.’ Young people in a group knock out an unsuspecting person by punching them as they walk by.

In many of the New York cases, the suspects appear to be African-American and their victims Jewish.

The Arizona Director of the Anti Defamation League says that isn’t always the case. Bill Strauss also says knockout has been going on for a while. His organization’s St. Louis office first heard about it happening about a year ago.

“It’s horrible,” said Strauss. “The last thing in the world that we need is something to increase the level of incivility and violence in society. Knockout seems to be one of the most troubling manifestations of that that I’ve ever heard of.”

Phoenix police say no incidents of knockout have been reported here, but Strauss says his office is getting calls about it.

He told one caller that the Anti-Defamation League has no reason to do something about this in Phoenix. “And the caller said ‘So you have to wait for something terrible to happen before you can act?'”

Strauss says he asked the caller, “What would you have us do, lock up every young person?”

And the caller said, “The police could devote manpower and resources to this.”

Strauss says that’s crazy. If the police were to devote manpower and resources to investigate crimes that haven’t happened here, that would divert resources away from investigating crimes that have.