CHICAGO (CBS) – The coming long hot summer has not even officially begun, and we have already seen the chaos on the streets.
Near North Avenue Beach on Wednesday night, big crowds were seen as they boarded a Chicago Transit Authority bus and then rushed to the gas station.
It made us think about what the police did to try to stop it all. Jackie Costeck of CBS 2 talked to a detective about some weird strategy.
The detective, who did not want to be identified, has been working in the department for more than 15 years. He says that when it comes to dealing with large crowds, like Wednesday night, there is no real strategy from above.
The detective said officers intervene when they see someone with a gun, but otherwise, he says they can do nothing but stand and allow it to happen.
A video posted on social media shows a large crowd on North Avenue beach early Wednesday night – several people board a CTA bus and a group surrounds it.
A longtime CPD detective said police were aware of a leaflet that was circulating on social media advertising the seizure of North Avenue beach. However, he said the CPD response is often reactive.
The detective said that by the time more police resources are deployed, the group may already be out of control. On Wednesday night, a crowd of beach spilled west along North Avenue on Old Town Street – gathering near the Shell gas station on North Avenue and LaSalle Boulevard and climbing into cars.
The police radio instructed: “Whoever is jumping in cars, arrest these people. Arrest people who jump on cars. ”
But even though the dispatcher repeatedly informed officers on the radio about the detention, Chicago police confirm that only one person was arrested. 18-year-old Tremain Patterson was accused of reckless behavior for fighting and ignoring the officer’s verbal commands.
We asked the police if they found a weapon, and they replied that they did not have such information.
The detective said that while there may be some sense of orientation among officers as to how to deal with the crowd at the moment, there are no clear messages from above. We asked Chicago police if there was a plan on how to deal with last night’s crowd and what the department could do in such a situation. There was no answer to these questions.
The detective says he believes this approach is upheld and let it happen out of resistance to the former Supt. Eddie Johnson got for his strategy of directing the crowd to trains and buses.