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Former CPD First Deputy Superintendent says Loop crowds will have economic impact

By Shardaa Gray

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    Chicago (WBBM) — Hundreds of teenagers gathered in Chicago’s Loop causing chaos Saturday night, and at some point during the night, two of them standing in the crowd were shot.

CBS 2’s Shardaa Gray spoke with a former Chicago Police Department First Deputy Superintendent who says this is getting out of hand.

There were multiple reports of fighting, bottles thrown at CTA buses, and gunshots.

Now the chaotic crowds have businesses on edge and unsure about the economic impact on the city.

The teens were running in droves down Michigan Avenue, managing to disrupt traffic and CTA services.

Chicago Police say 15 people were arrested, including nine adults and six juveniles. Most of the charges were for reckless conduct, but a 16-year-old boy was also charged with unlawful use of a weapon. A gun was recovered.

Police say two teenage boys were standing in a crowd when shots were fired by an unknown person. A 16-year-old boy was taken by firefighters to Northwestern Memorial Hospital. He was shot in the right arm and was in fair condition. A 17-year-old boy was shot in the left leg and was also transported to Northwestern.

“It’s a big concern, obviously. It’s the first warm weekend of the year. There’s the whole hot summer ahead,” said former First Dep. Supt. Anthony Riccio.

TikTok video shows large crowds gathered near Madison and State streets. Then gunshots can be heard.

‘Riccio says these chaotic crowds will have an economic impact on the city.

“We’re starting to see some of the implications from it, some of the effects. People are not going downtown to patronize businesses, patronize the restaurants to enjoy Millenium Park,” he said.

He says this will leave a negative perception of the city with NASCAR coming to Chicago and the Democratic National Convention.

“Maybe the police department needs to sit down, get some experienced people in a room together and really come up with a strategy that’s going to be effective. It’s not the last time it’s going to happen,” Riccio said.

Chicago Loop Alliance responded to the crowds by saying, “Our Chicago Loop Alliance ambassadors and unarmed security remained vigilant of the situation throughout the night. While this is not a frequent occurrence in the Loop, we are prepared to work with all relevant partners and parties in response to when these trends are detected.”

“We’ve seen social media posts encouraging teens to come into the Loop and fight. CBS 2 reached out to the CPD to ask if they know how this started, and they said they have no clue how this was organized.

Mayor Lori Lightfoot spoke out about the weekend’s unrest, calling the behavior of young people “reckless, disrespectful and unlawful.” In a statement the mayor said, “We as a city cannot and will not allow any of our public spaces to become a platform for criminal conduct.” She added that “parents and guardians must know where their children are and be responsible for their actions.”

Mayor-Elect Brandon Johnson condemned Saturday night’s behavior, calling it unacceptable and saying it “has no place in our city” and that it is not constructive to demonize youth who have otherwise been starved of opportunities in their own communities.

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