‘This is no way to live’: River North residents, alderman fed up with increasing crime

Chicago Crime

CHICAGO — Some River North residents and their alderman are fed up with increasing crime in the neighborhood.

“You just don’t feel safe in your own neighborhood,” said resident Frank Gurick. “This is no way to live.”

Ald. Brendan Reilly (42nd Ward) addressed what he called a dramatic spike in crime on WGN Radio.

“I’ve been trying to get foot patrols permanently dedicated to State Street until we get it under control,” Reilly said.

He has sent letters this week to Mayor Lightfoot and CPD Supt. David Brown asking for an increased police presence along State, Hubbard and Clark streets Thursdays through Sundays.

The sentiment from residents and Reilly comes after a video surfaced showing two men being violently beaten in the 400 block of North State Street last weekend.

Brandon Jefferson, 33, of Wheeling, is facing charges of robbery and battery after police responded to the scene Saturday at around 1:30 a.m.

CWB Chicago released a video of the State Street attack. In the video, two men are beaten while bystanders watch and record the assault on their phones.

The Chicago Police Department faced criticism for taking six minutes to respond.

Then on Wednesday, a 24-year-old Chase Bank employee was stabbed in the 600 block of North Dearborn. She died from her injuries on Friday and a man was charged in her death.

Chicago police data show while overall crime complaints across the 18th district were down in August compared to last August 2020 — robbery, aggravated battery, theft and motor vehicle theft saw increases.

Some neighbors are skeptical the alderman’s request will be enough to make them feel safe.

“What’s a letter going to do?” Gurick said. “Bring in the National Guard.”

In a news conference Friday, police said they’re taking a comprehensive approach along the Hubbard Street corridor. Their said they will be towing illegally parked cars and targeting public indecency.

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