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Alderman blames arduous CPD leadership for unflinching response to violent weekend rally

At least three teenagers have been shot, after city officials stepped out over the weekend in a series of violent rallies.

It included a tumultuous Saturday night downtown marked by communication breakdowns and infighting between the city and police and a flood of jarring videos that stirred outrage on social media.

downtown aldo. Brian Hopkins (No. 2) said the social media-fueled rally turned into “mayhem” over three nights as Chicago police “completely collapsed command and control.”

Videos posted on social media showed groups of young people jumping into cars, kicking them and setting them on fire. Aldo. Brian Hopkins cites the “complete collapse of command and control” as the poor response of the Chicago Police Department. Hopkins said senior police officers should have had contingency plans in case the unexpected happened.

“We’ve had our share of mass arrests downtown for over a decade. This is nothing new,” Hopkins said. “What’s new is that he does it three days in a row.”

When Chicago hosted the 2012 NATO summit, the CPD dealt with demonstrators who sought to engage in “rude and violent acts.”

“We don’t have that now,” he said. “Why not? Hire a superintendent with no plan to deal with this and it will keep happening every warm weekend.”

Officers made 15 arrests during Saturday’s riots, but Hopkins said there could have been “dozens more” were it not for the “hostility and violence” faced by officers who tried to move into the crowd. This included numerous reports of officers being beaten, kicked and beaten with bottles and other objects.

Hopkins said Interim Police Supt. Eric Carter and Chief of Patrol Brian McDermott got into a shouting match on Saturday night, saying, “The Chicago Police There was a bitter disagreement between the leaders and the CTA administrators as to who was in charge.

“We need to have all sorts of contingency plans in place in case these incidents occur,” Hopkins said. “Instead, we had a complete command and control meltdown. No one knew who was in charge.”

“It’s a bit like Groundhog Day.”

downtown aldo. Brendan Riley (No. 42) was particularly alarmed about the first meeting that drew teenagers to Millennium Park on Saturday night, noting that it devolved into “chaos and criminal activity.”

Police say two boys, ages 16 and 17, were shot that night in a unruly crowd on the 100th block of East Washington Street. The night before, a 14-year-old boy was injured in a gunshot after another large group gathered on his 31st Street beach.

“Where are these kids’ parents?” Reilly wrote in an email to The Sun-Times. “They need to know where their children are going and what they are doing. Parents should be held accountable for this kind of outrageous behavior.”

Aldo. Brendan Riley, 42nd, told the editorial board of the Chicago Sun-Times in 2017.

“Where are these kids’ parents?” Downtown Aldo. Brendan Riley (42nd) asks. Reilly asked city hall leaders about their plans for downtown safety over the summer, but he didn’t get a response, he said.

Rich Hein/Sun-Times (file)

“At the first weekend of warm weather each year, CPD leaders seem to be off their feet and overwhelmed by large groups of young people on the beach or in the park,” says Reilly. “Like every spring, we have asked to review our downtown safety plans this summer, but have received no response from CPD.”

Three community activists gathered in Chinatown on Monday afternoon to condemn the weekend’s “rioting and looting” and demand fines for parents whose children have been accused of committing crimes.

Activist Raul Montez has gone so far as to urge Governor JB Pritzker to activate the National Guard or declare martial law if the so-called takeover event continues.

“This is outrageous,” said Montez. “We don’t want this to continue. I no longer feel safe in my city.”


Community activists Raul Montez Jr. (left), John J. Garcia, and Dr. Kim Tee speak to reporters about the weekend’s riots in Chinatown. Montez suggests fines for parents of teenage children who take action.

Tyler Paciak LaRiviere/Sun-Times

Mayor Lori Lightfoot struggles to keep events in check Her administration invested in a series of youth-friendly parties last summer and enacted a new curfew at Millennium Park, which was harshly criticized and rarely enforced.

“This is not the first time we have addressed these issues,” Lightfoot said Monday. “But our young people have the opportunity and the right to enjoy our entire city. But they must do it in a way that respects people and property.”

Her failure to handle the rally well opens a window into the many challenges that lie ahead for mayor-elect Brandon Johnson, who has promised to address “the root causes of violence and poverty.” Offers. He condemned the weekend’s “disruptive activity” but argued that “it is not constructive to demonize opportunity-hungry young people in their own communities.”

Cook County Commissioner Brandon Johnson, who is running for mayor of Chicago, speaks at a press conference in Plaza America on February 13, 2023.

Mayor-elect Brandon Johnson condemned the weekend’s unrest, but argued that “it’s not constructive to demonize opportunity-hungry young people in our own communities.”

“Our city will work together to create spaces for youth to gather safely and responsibly under adult guidance and supervision, and make every corner of our city a safe place for residents and visitors alike. We need to make sure we continue to feel welcome,” he said in a statement on Sunday.

On Monday afternoon, the police department issued a statement saying additional security measures would be put in place, including bag checks at beach entrances. A curfew will also be enforced at Millennium Park.

Police officials are working closely with youth and outreach workers on when rallies will take place, according to a statement. Parents were advised to accompany their children or have them under adult supervision.

Police are closely following posts about these types of events on social media, so it’s unclear why they were so caught off-guard.

City Hall sources say cops preemptively gauge the potential size of rallies by looking at how much engagement a post gets, but some are “fake” and some Event may be canceled.

“There are some bad actors and this kind of group mentality hits,” the source said. .”

Police supervisors accused Carter and his predecessor, David Brown, of not adequately preparing for such a rally. But police officials “didn’t have a plan for this weekend,” the supervisor said.

“The problem is that no one is really asking young people why they come downtown and what they need,” said the supervisor.

“There are no winners here”

Tynetta Hill-Muhammad, organizer of the Chicago chapter of the activist group Black Youth Project 100, said Lightfoot’s efforts to deal with mass rallies should adequately counter the systemic inequalities at the heart of the problem. He said that it was a “first aid” that could not be done.

She said the “disappointing” video of Saturday’s takeover is now being weaponized by bad actors.


Tynetta Hill-Muhammad leads the activist group Black Youth Project 100. Hill-Muhammad says Lori and her Mayor Lightfoot’s efforts to address mass rallies are a “stoppable” that fails to adequately address the inequalities at the heart of the problem.

Anthony Vazquez/Sun-Times (File)

“I see this as a direct opportunity for right-wing white supremacists to attack, demonize, and criminalize black people, and to ensure that anti-blackism becomes the norm and people accept it. I think it’s just another opportunity to be,” she said.

The BYP100 provides a safe space during the summer to take the kids to the movies or bowling.

“These young people experience violence every day but do not have access to basic resources such as treatment and mental health clinics, hospitals and after-school programs that other students and other young people have access to,” she said. rice field.

Former U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, who now heads the anti-violence group Chicago CRED, said the takeover won’t stop “unless something fundamentally changes.”

Arne Duncan, former U.S. Secretary of Education and co-founder of anti-gun violence group Chicago CRED, addresses a press conference at Breakthrough Familyplex on the West Side, where Gov. JB Pritzker declares gun violence public health signed an executive order to State Crisis, Monday, November 1, 2021.

“We have to take a very different approach to this,” says former U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. Duncan hopes the city will send his outreach workers downtown to improve safety in violent neighborhoods and allow parents and elders to interact with young people.

Ashlee Rezin/Sun-Times (File)

He said three things need to be done: Historically violent areas need to be made safer. Parents and other elders need to start engaging with youth.

“This requires a very different approach,” he said. “It’s terrible for the city. Nationally, it just makes us laugh. It’s incredibly destructive and actually incredibly dangerous for the young people themselves.”

“So there are no winners here and things don’t go as usual.”

https://chicago.suntimes.com/crime/2023/4/17/23686938/alderman-blasts-fractious-cpd-leadership-for-flat-footed-response-to-violent-weekend-gatherings Alderman blames arduous CPD leadership for unflinching response to violent weekend rally

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