It was a beautiful day to be shopping and sightseeing down on Chicago’s Mag Mile, but around 6 p.m. Saturday things started to turn ugly with reports of teens intentionally bumping into people and fighting amongst themselves near the intersection of Chicago and Michigan.
DNAinfo.com reported “We were there, we were on top of it, and we dispersed it immediately,” Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy said at a news conference at the Calumet District police station Monday.
“I also want to be clear: There were no assaults, robberies or property damage that was reported” at the time of the 17 Mag Mile arrests, McCarthy said.
Community activist Andrew Holmes saw something different while shopping with his family. “You had a group of teens, close to maybe 500. They assaulted a Chicago police officer that was mounted on a horse and all of a sudden they assaulted a citizen walking the streets, just a normal citizen shopping and enjoying the weather,” said Holmes, according to CBSChicago.
The melee on Michigan Avenue was the least violent action to take place on the streets of Chicago Easter weekend. DNAinfo.com reported that two people died and at least 20 others were injured by gun violence during another bloody weekend in the city.
Early Easter Sunday morning 8 people were shot, 1 fatally, in under an hour.
These shooting took place on Chicago’s south and west sides, not on it’s Magnificent Mile, so many people won’t hear about them, but because a bunch of teens invaded prime real estate there will be headlines all over the country.
What is going to happen when the weather eventually turns warm and then hot?
According to the Chicago Tribune a spokesman for the union that represents rank-and-file Chicago police officers also expressed concern about how the police department will respond to such disturbances during the spring and summer.
Patrick Camden, the spokesman for the Fraternal Order of Police, also noted that Ald. Brendan Reilly, whose 42nd Ward covers the downtown area, has proposed that businesses hire off-duty cops to patrol North Michigan Avenue.
What steps should you consider taking in case the police aren’t there in large numbers to quell the next mob action?
1. Start paying attention to who is nearby and what is taking place around you. Just because you are in, what most people consider a safe area doesn’t mean you should lower your guard.
2. Scan ahead of you as you walk down the street the way you would if you were driving a car checking the traffic ahead of you.
3. If you witness a group causing trouble by blocking sidewalks or jostling people walk into a store or restaurant and call 311 the Police Departments non-emergency number, and report your concerns. If you witness something more serious call 911.
4. When walking or sitting alone refrain from texting which prevent you from seeing trouble coming your way, or using ear buds or headphones which may prevent you from hearing it.
5. If you are the victim of a strong-arm robbery giving them what they want may help you avoid serious injury, but that doesn’t mean they won’t still try to harm you. Throw your valuables in one direction and run in the other.
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