Cinco de Mayo parade canceled due to ‘gang violence,’ Chicago police say

Chicago police officers work to quell one of the disturbances associated with the 2024 Cinco de Mayo parade (Citizen App)

CHICAGO—City officials canceled the annual Cinco de Mayo Parade on Sunday due to “gang violence in the area… to protect the safety of all in attendance, including families and children,” the Chicago Police Department said in a statement.

Trouble started brewing well before the parade’s noon start time. CPD officers posted near Cermak and Washtenaw reported hearing shots fired in the area around 10:39 a.m. A flood of 911 callers supplemented their reports. Just two minutes later, the officers reported several bursts of gunfire, some possibly from automatic weapons, at 21st and Washtenaw, resulting in the first “10-1” police emergency of the day.

There were also reports of multiple calls of people with firearms, people throwing rocks at cars, and gang confrontations in the streets.

As of mid-afternoon, the city had not confirmed any injuries from the gunfire. CPD reported that “multiple arrests” had been made and firearms confiscated throughout the day.

A video posted to the Citizen App showed a sizeable crowd of men throwing up gang signs at Rockwell and Cermak as police tried to keep the situation under control.

“This is what happens when the mayor doesn’t do nothing,” a man is heard saying on the video. “The aldermen, they’re not doing nothing in the neighborhood. We need to protect the police from these criminals that are doing criminal stuff here.”

The footage shows some arrests being made. Watch:

Video: Citizen App

According to police, CPD leadership, elected officials, and parade organizers agreed to cancel the event.

Here is the Chicago Police Department’s complete statement, released at 1:30 p.m:

Out of an abundance of caution, the Cinco de Mayo Parade has been canceled to protect the safety of all in attendance, including families and children. This decision was made in agreement between the CPD’s 10th District, elected officials, and parade organizers following gang violence in the area.

At this time, multiple arrests have been made, including gun arrests. CPD is currently clearing the parade route and asking all parade-goers to return home safely.

— Chicago Police Department statement

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