When small groups of teens took to Michigan Avenue over the weekend, Chicago police employed a tactic that was used two years ago when demonstrators protested the presence of world leaders in the city, police Supt. Garry McCarthy said Tuesday.
"We escorted [them] around, basically like NATO protesters," he told reporters, calling the tactic "effective."
"You all know what happens during the summer months on Michigan Avenue. We have a strategy to prevent these mobs of kids from coming up and causing mayhem downtown."
McCarthy earned praise from city leaders and from the police union head at the time for his leadership during the 2012 NATO Summit, where his police force moved around crowds of protestors to minimize violence and damage to property.
Chicago's downtown areas in recent years have been plagued with incidents of "wildings," in which groups of teens intimidate pedestrians and, at times, assault and rob them.
McCarthy said there were "five or six" mob-type incidents last weekend.
One of the incidents reported to NBC Chicago involved a group of young people who ransacked a convenience store.