Chicago Police

Chicago Tourism Group Vows Action, Says National Narrative Doesn't Match Reality After Disturbances

NBCUniversal Media, LLC

Choose Chicago, the city’s official tourism group, is seeking to reassure business owners and tourists that action will be taken after a weekend that saw disturbances and arrests in the downtown area.

The group’s president and CEO Lynn Osmond penned a letter saying that they have been in contact with law enforcement and other city officials about the matter, and that they are confident that the action plan will help address the concerns of those looking to do business in, or visit, the city.

“They have provided assurances that they will be putting forward additional resources in response to the incidents this weekend,” the letter read, in part. “They have made it clear that all those engaging in criminal activity will be arrested and held accountable.”

Police say that at least 15 people were taken into custody after a series of large weekend gatherings in the city, with most of those groups focused on area beaches and an area of the Loop near Millennium Park.

There were at least two reported shootings, with three people injured, as officers worked to quell the disturbances.

Chicago police have vowed to increase staffing presence to monitor gatherings and to keep an eye on social media if it is being used to plan gatherings. They also will proactively relocate resources to the downtown area to deal with any gatherings.

A curfew on unaccompanied minors in Millennium Park will also be enforced, as will bag checks at area beaches, including at 31st Street Beach, where a fight resulted in gunshots being fired on Friday.

Amid those actions, officials with Choose Chicago said that the national narrative on the city as a violent place is misguided and wrong.

 “The national perception of Chicago does not match the reality – we are a spectacular, beautiful city that is enjoyed safely every day by millions of locals and visitors,” the group said. “We continue to face very serious public safety challenges that must be addressed.”

Finally, the group pledged to work with mayor-elect Brandon Johnson’s administration, which has said that it will work to not only reallocate police resources, but also to provide constructive activities and creative outlets for the city’s young population.

Other groups have also pledged to provide similar opportunities.

Contact Us