Fourth instance of mob violence this year shuts down Chicago's fanciest shopping district

Business interests and police are doing their best to minimize attention to the slide into mob rule of the streets in Chicago's nicest, most famous neighborhood.  But shoppers, tourists, and ordinary working Joes and Janes can no longer take for granted the freedom to walk around Chicago's upscale shopping district along North Michigan Avenue near the famous Water Tower.  Four times this year, mobs of "urban youths" have taken to "wilding" and attacking random pedestrians while looting stores.

 

The latest instance happened on Tuesday.  CBS Chicago reports:

A brawl involving dozens of teenagers broke out near Chicago's Water Tower Place Tuesday night, prompting a flurry of 911 calls as the mob spread to Chicago Avenue and State Street.

The disturbance grew so large at one point that some businesses in Chicago's busiest tourist district were forced to shut down

One person who witnessed the fight asked to stay anonymous, but told CBS that a group of about seven teenagers jumped a person walking down Chicago Avenue between Wabash Avenue and Rush Street.

How much longer are people going to feel free to spend a carefree hour or two browsing among the fine stores, restaurants, and other establishments under these circumstances?  One wonders how much longer merchants are going to continue to operate there when:

... [w]itnesses reported seeing teenagers and adults fighting at Chicago Avenue and State Street, prompting McDonald's and Chick-Fil-A to lock up.

The police resorted to barricading the streets and forcing the crowd toward train stations to take them out of the area.

There is clear evidence that the merchants and real estate interests are seriously concerned and trying to avoid public panic about the deterioration of civil order.  But the underlying problem will not be solved by diverting media attention.  Yet it looks as though both  the Chicago Police and local media are doing everything they can to avoid widespread attention.  Second City Cop raises the issue of the lack of video of the latest wilding:

A reader makes a good point:

Where the hell are the videos?  The internet [is] full of videos on every damn thing under the sun but rarely of this crap.  I don't expect the media to show them but I am surprised they are not showing up elsewhere.  We must have 634 videos of "Saint Harish" the barber but nothing on wildings on Chicago's premier shopping area?  Unreal

Here's a little secret.  Videos exist.

In fact, there are tens of thousands of videos that exist, totaling hundreds of hours, all filed and categorized – body cameras, blue light cameras, private security cameras, all showing not only wildings, but gun handoffs, street shootings, more than a couple gang executions, all sorts of stuff.

But the public will never see it.  Neither will most cops...unless you happen to work in one of the many SDSC rooms or downtown at records, and even then, access is restricted.

Can anyone guess why the videos will never been seen?  The media [could] probably get quite a few filing FOIA requests, but they won't ever ask to see it – no doubt Rahm has ordered them not to....and it runs counter to their slanted world view.

Just this week, a friend and neighbor told me she was moving to Chicago for a new job and would be living in this neighborhood.  I did not have the heart to warn her, as her plan was already fixed, and she had her new apartment rented, just blocks from the wilding.  I didn't want to rain on her parade, but I am beginning to wonder if I ought to have warned her.

Photo credit: Graham99 via Flickr.

Business interests and police are doing their best to minimize attention to the slide into mob rule of the streets in Chicago's nicest, most famous neighborhood.  But shoppers, tourists, and ordinary working Joes and Janes can no longer take for granted the freedom to walk around Chicago's upscale shopping district along North Michigan Avenue near the famous Water Tower.  Four times this year, mobs of "urban youths" have taken to "wilding" and attacking random pedestrians while looting stores.

 

The latest instance happened on Tuesday.  CBS Chicago reports:

A brawl involving dozens of teenagers broke out near Chicago's Water Tower Place Tuesday night, prompting a flurry of 911 calls as the mob spread to Chicago Avenue and State Street.

The disturbance grew so large at one point that some businesses in Chicago's busiest tourist district were forced to shut down

One person who witnessed the fight asked to stay anonymous, but told CBS that a group of about seven teenagers jumped a person walking down Chicago Avenue between Wabash Avenue and Rush Street.

How much longer are people going to feel free to spend a carefree hour or two browsing among the fine stores, restaurants, and other establishments under these circumstances?  One wonders how much longer merchants are going to continue to operate there when:

... [w]itnesses reported seeing teenagers and adults fighting at Chicago Avenue and State Street, prompting McDonald's and Chick-Fil-A to lock up.

The police resorted to barricading the streets and forcing the crowd toward train stations to take them out of the area.

There is clear evidence that the merchants and real estate interests are seriously concerned and trying to avoid public panic about the deterioration of civil order.  But the underlying problem will not be solved by diverting media attention.  Yet it looks as though both  the Chicago Police and local media are doing everything they can to avoid widespread attention.  Second City Cop raises the issue of the lack of video of the latest wilding:

A reader makes a good point:

Where the hell are the videos?  The internet [is] full of videos on every damn thing under the sun but rarely of this crap.  I don't expect the media to show them but I am surprised they are not showing up elsewhere.  We must have 634 videos of "Saint Harish" the barber but nothing on wildings on Chicago's premier shopping area?  Unreal

Here's a little secret.  Videos exist.

In fact, there are tens of thousands of videos that exist, totaling hundreds of hours, all filed and categorized – body cameras, blue light cameras, private security cameras, all showing not only wildings, but gun handoffs, street shootings, more than a couple gang executions, all sorts of stuff.

But the public will never see it.  Neither will most cops...unless you happen to work in one of the many SDSC rooms or downtown at records, and even then, access is restricted.

Can anyone guess why the videos will never been seen?  The media [could] probably get quite a few filing FOIA requests, but they won't ever ask to see it – no doubt Rahm has ordered them not to....and it runs counter to their slanted world view.

Just this week, a friend and neighbor told me she was moving to Chicago for a new job and would be living in this neighborhood.  I did not have the heart to warn her, as her plan was already fixed, and she had her new apartment rented, just blocks from the wilding.  I didn't want to rain on her parade, but I am beginning to wonder if I ought to have warned her.

Photo credit: Graham99 via Flickr.