CHICAGO — 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 young people have an opportunity and a right to enjoy the entirety of our city but they have to do it in a way that is respectful of people and property,” Lightfoot said Monday.
South Side Alderperson Pat Dowell was more forceful in a tweet: “The mayhem happening downtown and at the 31st St. Beach is appalling. No other community abdicates parental responsibility for their children. None. Until parents collectively take back control of their homes – nothing will change.”