After at least nine people were arrested following large gatherings in downtown Chicago on Saturday night, police are promising more enforcement action, but some members of the public say that the department is not doing enough.
Amid reports of scattered fights and vandalism in the city on Saturday, police confirmed that nine individuals, including eight juveniles and one adult, were arrested after officers arrived to break up large groups that had congregated near several downtown landmarks, including Millennium Park.
“The Chicago Police Department has ensured that sufficient resources have been deployed to ensure the safety of residents and visitors throughout Chicago, including the downtown districts,” the department said in a statement.
CPD Superintendent David Brown says that two adults were arrested on Saturday evening, and both had weapons. He also says that the department is working with Chicago Public Schools to engage with teens.
“As you all have reported over the last several weekends, young people are coming to the downtown early in the evening on Saturdays,” he said during a Monday press conference. “I would just say this to encourage parents of these young people not to drop them off unsupervised by adults. That would be helpful to us, as well as any and all who have programs for our young people to keep them engaged in healthy behavior.”
Some downtown residents say they feel the department’s response times have been good to deal with any groups that are fighting or causing property damage.
“I am aware of the incidents that have been happening downtown, but I am sure the city is going to deploy whatever forces they need to deal with the situation,” resident Ruben Taylor said.
Still, other residents say that police have not done enough to combat the issues, and are urging them to step up enforcement efforts.
“I know the restaurants. I work around here. They have been calling the police and they have been slow to respond,” resident John Rowe said.
Brown says that officers have been doing their best to keep the public safe and to break up large groups, and says that officers will continue those efforts as summer arrives in the city.
“We won’t tolerate criminal behavior by young or old, so we have taken enforcement action where its appropriate,” Brown said.