Cops chill as Pride partiers overtake Halsted Street ’til 4 a.m.

There was no Pride Parade in Chicago this year. Thanks, COVID-19. But that doesn’t mean there wasn’t a party in Boystown. Police took a hands-off approach with the hours-long pop-up festival, doing little more than block streets so people didn’t get run over.

Want to dance on top of a CPD squad car? Go for it! 

Want to have a fistfight at 3:30 a.m. in the middle of Halsted Street? Have at it!

Want to shoot off fireworks in the middle of hundreds of people? Please, do! Here’s a collection of Snapchat clips to give you a flavor of the evening. To make it really interesting, see how many COVID-fighting face masks you see.

Why didn’t police take a more proactive approach? According to Ald. Raymond Lopez (15th), CPD has a new hands-off policy for dealing with large gatherings. Frustrated with a 300-person illegal block party that raged until 3 a.m. Saturday, Lopez fired up his Twitter feed.

“Here is the order from Area Central [police],” Lopez wrote. “Just so we are all ????.”

A CPD commander’s email, tweeted by Ald. Raymond Lopez, lays out the police department’s hands-off policy regarding large groups.” | Twitter

While the Halsted Street bars shuttered early (the city makes them close by 11 p.m. to prevent the spread of coronavirus), the strip was packed with revelers until police ordered them to leave under threat of mass arrest at 3:45 a.m. Monday. There were few — if any — arrests made as police took a back seat and let the night run free. 

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CWBChicago was created in 2013 by five residents of Wrigleyville and Boystown who had grown disheartened with inaccurate information that was being provided at local Community Policing (CAPS) meetings. Our coverage area has expanded since then to cover Lincoln Park, River North, The Loop, Uptown, and other North Side Areas. But our mission remains unchanged: To provide original public safety reporting with better context and greater detail than mainstream media outlets. Our editorial email address is news@cwbchicago.com