The Chicago Police Department on Monday evening made its first public statement about the “large group” incidents that left three boys shot, cars burned and damaged, and pedestrians robbed and beaten in the Loop and at 31st Street Beach in recent days.
While CPD said 15 people, including six juveniles, were arrested for mostly minor charges when hundreds of people swarmed the Loop on Saturday evening, the department has not said how many were arrested at the beach on Friday or during a smaller incident last Wednesday.
You can read our previous coverage of the incidents at the following links.
- Fights, but no arrests as first ‘large group’ of the season descends on Millennium Park (April 13, 2023)
- 14-year-old shot as ‘large group’ gathers nearby at 31st Street Beach (April 15, 2023)
- 2 boys shot, several people arrested as another ‘large group’ overwhelms Chicago police in the Loop (April 16, 2023)
- Alarming video shows large group attacking woman in downtown Chicago, punching bus driver (April 17, 2023)
Here is the Chicago Police Department’s statement:
The Chicago Police Department’s top priority is the safety and wellbeing of our residents and visitors, including our city’s youth. The reckless, disruptive and violent behavior that was seen downtown this past weekend will not be tolerated. We encourage our young people to be safe and responsible as they enjoy their weekends, but anyone engaged in criminal activity will be arrested and held accountable.
We actively and continuously review open source social media and additional resources will be available to protect those who are visiting, living or working in the areas of large gatherings. Resources include an increased police and command staff presence at these gatherings citywide. Our Strategic Decision Support Centers (SDSCs) will also be monitoring all activity and police cameras to assist in the proactive reallocation of resources when necessary.
Additional security measures such as bag checks at beach entry points and the curfew for minors at Millennium Park will also be in place. CPD is also working closely with youth and outreach workers for when these gatherings occur.
We strongly encourage parents to accompany their teens or have them remain under the supervision of a responsible adult. We will continue working alongside our community organizations and leaders to provide safe spaces and alternatives for our youth across the city.