CHICAGO — Chaos ensued in the downtown Chicago area Sunday night following reports of large groups of young people creating disturbances in the Loop.
WGN obtained video posted to the Citizen App that shows a large group gathering in the middle of a Loop-area street blocking traffic. Hundreds of young people who flooded the Loop were met by Chicago Police officers.
Gatherers lit fireworks and sparked dumpster fires, authorities said. The crowd first commenced at Michigan and Washington.
“Over 60 arrests were made,” Chicago Police Supt. David Brown said. “During that ordeal, two officers were injured.”
The warmer weather has made downtown residents and business owners anxious. They don’t want a repeat of last year’s rioting that led to property damage and destruction.
The fear comes after a damning inspector general report looked at CPD’s performance last summer and found officers were “outflanked, under-equipped and unprepared.”
RAW VIDEO: Large group blocks traffic, causing disturbances in the Loop
This time, Ald. Brian Hopkins (2nd Ward) said the city had a plan.
“There was better coordination among agencies,” Hopkins said. “Better communication with police. The command staff on the ground had a tactical plan and you could tell the plan was very effective at containing the chaos.”
On Monday, CPD briefed Hopkins about the Fourth of July disturbance and why it was a potentially volatile situation.
“The police officers showed tremendous restrain. In many cases, they were being attacked. They had candles fired at them,” Hopkins mentioned. “One of the things that I’m most concerned about was the high number of weapons that were confiscated last night. We had teenagers 15, 16 years old with handguns in their backpacks. That makes a very volatile and dangerous situation when you have teenagers and a lot of them are carrying handguns.”
Chicago police issued a statement to WGN Monday that said police responded to several large groups throughout the downtown area. Police said it resulted in multiple arrests and at least two officers injured.
“The Chicago Police Department had sufficient resources deployed to manage the crowds and ensure public safety,” the statement said.