CHICAGO — Chicago residents worried about the downtown violence over the weekend expressed their concerns to police on Wednesday.
Members of the 18th Police District met with community members to help build relationships among the people they serve. The meeting was inr response to Saturday, when a large crowd of young people swarmed the streets in the Loop, attacking visitors, committing robberies and causing overall chaos.
The unruly group gathered near the intersection of East Washington Street and Michigan Avenue. In addition to damaged vehicles, traffic and CTA were also disrupted in the area.
In all, 15 people, including nine adults and six juveniles, were arrested following the incident and two teens were shot.
The 18th District is just a block away from where the incidents occurred and residents who live in the area spoke to police about what is being done to keep them safe.
“I’m here because I’m tired of crime,” said Chicago resident Jane Browne. “I live in the city, right on the lake. I love the city and I’ve been here for a long time and I can’t stand what’s happening.”
“I’m concerned now because this is April and we’re starting to see this already,” said Dave Kostelansky, president of the Lake Shore Park Advisory Council.
Ald. Brian Hopkins said police were outnumbered Saturday night.
“For many of the rookie police officers out there, this may have been the first time that they found themselves in the middle of a riot, surrounded by dangerous, violent people, shooting guns,” Hopkins. “So if you are a rookie police officer in that situation, you need direction. You need a senior commanding officer with experience to tell you how to respond to that and do it in a coordinated fashion. And that did not happen.”
Police will conduct bag checks at beach entry points and enforce a curfew for minors at Millenium Park.