Julio covered the mayhem that the city of Chicago saw from its youth. Flash mobs ran rampant, looting, creating mischief, and eventually exchanging gunfire. The incoming mayor, Brandon Johnson, condemned the violence but urged people not to blame this gang of hoodlums that caused it.
"Our city must work together to create spaces for youth to gather safely and responsibly, under adult guidance and supervision, to ensure that every part of our city remains welcome both residents and visitors. This is one aspect of my comprehensive approach to improve public safety and make Chicago livable for everyone," wrote Johnson in a statement.
Excuse me? Did any of these people see the footage:
🚨#BREAKING: Chaotic Scene Unfolds in Downtown Chicago as Teenagers Vandalize Cars and Gunfire Erupts— R A W S A L E R T S (@rawsalerts) April 16, 2023
📌#Chicago | #Illinois ⁰
There is currently a significant police response taking place in downtown Chicago due to a large group of teenagers causing chaos. They have been… pic.twitter.com/n7xhBpsTKs
It gets even more ridiculous when outgoing Mayor Lori Lightfoot blamed the weather for the weekend of chaos, while also arguing that what had transpired wasn’t a frenetic outburst of criminality (via WGNTV):
When a reporter asked Chicago’s mayor to respond to a weekend that saw hundreds of teens descend on Chicago’s Loop with some jumping on cars, committing acts of vandalism and two people shot, Lori Lightfoot took issue with the reporter’s language: “I’m not going to use your language, which I think is wrong, to say it was ‘mayhem.’”
Lightfoot sought to distinguish between those committing crimes and others who sought a fun night downtown on the first warm weekend of the year.
“The vast majority of the young people who came downtown came downtown because it was great weather and an opportunity to enjoy the city. That’s absolutely and entirely it,” Lightfoot said.
“There are a few that came with different intentions. They have and they will be dealt with.”
Mayor Lightfoot accused a reporter of “ambushing” her by asking questions about the unrest at a library event after her office had previously issued a press release. She encouraged people to download the “My Chi My Future” app her administration created after similar scenes played out last summer. It offers a one-stop connection for free neighborhood activities, resources and job opportunities.
The good weather portion of the response is still unbelievable (via NBC Chicago):
A total of 15 people, nine adults and six children, were arrested late Saturday night as hundreds, or possibly even more than a thousand people, gathered near Millennium Park, with some engaging in "reckless and disruptive behavior," Chicago police said. In one instance, two teenagers were shot in the area of State and Madison streets in the middle of a large crowd.
In a statement, Mayor Lori Lightfoot said while many of the young people gathered to have a good time and enjoy the weather, some were involved in "reckless, disrespectful and unlawful behavior."
"As I have said before, we as a city cannot and will not allow any of our public spaces to become a platform for criminal conduct," the mayor's statement read, in part. "Most importantly, parents and guardians must know where their children are and be responsible for their actions. Instilling the important values of respect for people and property must begin at home."
Full Lightfoot statement here:
“Twice in the last few days, several large groups of young people have gathered across the city. Many of them were there to have a good time and enjoy the unseasonably warm weather. However, some of those young people were involved in reckless, disrespectful and unlawful behavior. As I have said before, we as a city cannot and will not allow any of our public spaces to become a platform for criminal conduct. Most importantly, parents and guardians must know where their children are and be responsible for their actions. Instilling the important values of respect for people and property must begin at home.
I appreciate the individuals and business people who have reached out to me to express concerns. I have shared those concerns with the acting Superintendent and senior leadership within the Police Department in very candid and productive conversations.
CPD leadership has assured me that they will make the necessary adjustments to address these teen trends issues as we move into the summer months.
We have invested millions of dollars to support community-based organizations to partner with youth to co-activate fun, safe spaces all over the City throughout the year. We ask parents to partner with us by making sure that your children's plans are safe and that they know when to exit a situation before it becomes unsafe.
So, the teenage pandemonium was caused by…climate change?