Nolo's Plain-English Law Dictionary
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- 1) A turbulent and violent disturbance of peace by three or more people acting together. 2) An assemblage of people who are out of control, causing injury, or endangering the physical safety of others or themselves, causing or threatening damage to property, and often violating various laws both individually and as a group. The common thread is that the people in a riot have the power through violence to break the public peace and safety, requiring police action.