After several high profile robberies and violent incidents in Chicago’s downtown area, residents are gathering together to push back, with more than 500 signing up for a virtual meeting to discuss solutions to the rise in crime.
People signed up for the meeting to submit questions to city leadership, largely focusing on how to respond to several high-profile incidents, including the assault and robbery of two men on State Street this weekend.
Ald. Brian Hopkins and Chicago police hosted the event.
“I’m your neighbor, as well as your alderman. I live here too, and it really bothers me when I feel the perception is my city isn’t as safe as it used to be,” Hopkins said during the meeting.
According to police, there is an uptick in the number of robberies, carjackings and drug arrests in the area surrounding the Clark and Division Red Line stop in Gold Coast.
“Last year, we had 41 robberies, and this year we have 42 (so far), CPD 18th District Cmdr. Jill Stevens said.
Stevens addressed Saturday’s robbery of two men on State Street, with both men being violently beaten and robbed in front of a large crowd of people.
A brazen carjacking also took place near State and Ontario on Saturday, occurring in broad daylight, according to police.
Tuesday morning saw another robbery occur at Chicago and State.
“Motor vehicle thefts are up. We are seeing an uptick,” Stevens said. “A lot of them we are seeing people leave their cars running, with their keys inside.”
Stevens and Hopkins both said that action will be taken to address the uptick in crime in the area, and urged residents to call 911 if they witness, or are victim to, any incident. Stevens also urged residents to be as specific as possible about suspects in the cases.
“Sweatshirts can be taken off, but shoes can’t, so if there are specific colors of shoes, make sure you take note of details like that,” she said.
Another meeting will be held by Hopkins’ office in September, according to officials.