It’s hard to decide which part of the video is most revolting.
Is it the sucker punch that sends a man slamming to the pavement? Maybe it’s the vultures who rob two men — even taking their shoes — as they lie injured in the middle of State Street? Perhaps it’s the group of women who start twerking in the traffic lanes while the men are being victimized steps away?
It happened at 1:31 a.m. Saturday on the 400 block of North State Street. And it’s on video.
A police spokesperson said the man in the green shirt, the one who is seen throughout the video, suffered abrasions to his face and refused medical attention. The man who was sucker-punched is 40-years-old and was taken to Northwestern Memorial Hospital. His condition is not known. Both men were robbed, the spokesperson said, and no arrests have been made.
Who knows? Maybe the most revolting part of the video is the fact that something like that could happen in one of the city’s busiest nightlife districts for over five minutes before a police officer was able to make their way to the scene.
CPD radio traffic shows officers who were monitoring the local police district’s surveillance cameras told dispatchers about the “battery in progress” on State Street around 1:33 a.m. Officers requested an ambulance upon arrival six minutes later.
But slow responses are the new normal under strategies deployed by CPD Supt. David Brown, whose master plan has stripped local police districts of officers. The 18th District, which includes River North, currently has just 351 cops assigned to work its streets, according to Chicago’s Office of the Inspector General. That’s the fewest number of officers since November 2017, and it’s 15% lower than the 416 cops who worked there when Brown took command of the department in April 2020.
The downtown nightlife areas have been riddled with problems over the past year. Reports of gunfire, supported by the discovery of shell casings, are frequent on weekends. Shootings, once rare, are not so uncommon anymore.
“We need help,” a River North bar owner told CWBChicago in a message last weekend.
We’ll have more on the downtown troubles in a follow-up report.