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City claims that last weekend it was prepared for the crowds and chaos of the city center, but Alderman says there were not enough officers to make it work


CHICAGO (CBS) – Brought the first really warm weekend of the year mass crowds who created a chaotic scene in Millennium Park – some jumped in taxis, destroyed property and threatened with weapons.

Police and city officials say they have been prepared. But, as reported on Monday by Tara Molina of CBS 2, images from the weekend call this claim into question.

“Accidentally jumping on cars, smashing windows, chasing innocent pedestrians who just pass by – it’s a terrible experience for people,” said Old. Brian Hopkins (2nd).

Unfortunately, last Saturday night was not the first time that such chaos took place in the city center. We have tracked such incidents over the years, over and over again.

But Moline says the difference is that there aren’t many cops right now to tame it. Therefore, a city security plan that looks good on paper cannot be implemented on our streets.

Videos taken Saturday night of people jumping into taxis and even kicking their trunks along Michigan Avenue. Such videos are not shouted, “under control”, but this message was shared by city officials after hundreds of people flocked to the city center that night.

A total of 13 people were arrested, including 10 minors. They were accused of mob actions, hooliganism and illegal use of weapons in aggravating circumstances. Officers found both a real gun and a fake.

Chicago Police told us they were waiting for the crowd and have sufficient resources to manage the crowd and keep the population safe. But Old. Hopkins calls them a bluff.

“So we knew it was going to happen. We had a plan,” Hopkins said. “But the plan relies on a certain amount of police resources, and we don’t have it now.”

Hopkins said the need for more police officers affected more than Loop. It affected an entire police district.

“At one point in District 1 we were two hours behind – 911 calls were not answered,” Hopkins said, “because we were throwing all the cops we could into trouble at Millennium Park, and it still wasn’t enough. ».

Central (1st) County includes the entire Loop, but also extends west to the Kennedy and Dan Ryan Expressways and south to 31st Street.

We asked in the office of Mayor Lori Lightfoot what all this suggests is that the first warm weather weekend, which is approaching summer, is rising with crime, and the same scene has been unfolding for many years.

The mayor’s office only said: “We all accept your request. The CPD will be in touch. ”

Police in turn issued the following statement:

On Saturday night, the Chicago Police Department (CPD) responded to several large groups of juveniles and youth in downtown and made 13 arrests. Of those arrests, 10 were minors and three were adults, and eight more juveniles were issued curfew violations. one pistol and one copy of a firearm.

“The CPD was expecting a large meeting and had enough staff to manage the crowd and ensure public safety. In addition to regular patrols in our city center, the Department prepares for large meetings all year round through desktop exercises and mobilization exercises. still staffed with sufficient staff and resources to maintain public safety during large gatherings and many other events.We invite everyone to enjoy all that the magnificent downtown Chicago has to offer, but those involved in hooliganism or criminal activity will be arrested and prosecuted. to responsibility. ”

Hopkins makes his own proposal in light of all this and given the current number of police officers.

“One thing we need to do is be able to detain offenders for real-time crimes; be able to detain them temporarily without taking those cops off the street for two hours while they process documents.” – Hopkins said.

By April 17, index crimes had grown by 150 percent compared to last year – although this change needs to be seen in the overall picture in recent years.

This year, on April 17, 889 index crimes were registered in the “Loop”. Last year for the same period there were 351.

But 2021 was unusual. In 2020, 935 incidents were registered during the same period, and in 2019 there were more than 1,500.

The crime index includes:

  1. Murders
  2. Sexual violence
  3. Robbery
  4. Attack under aggravating circumstances
  5. Heavy battery
  6. Knot
  7. Theft
  8. Car theft (this category does not include theft of cars that are instead robbed)
  9. Arson

This is a breakdown of violent crime across the city by district from January 1 to April 17 for each year from 2018 to 2022:

Meanwhile, some spectators turned to us, asking why a curfew is not imposed in the city center on Saturday night. Some quotes have been issued for violations, but Hopkins told us that people who create downtown issues don’t change plans because of the curfew.

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