CHICAGO (CBS) — As Ald. Tom Tunney (44th) considers whether the annual Gay Pride Parade should be moved downtown, the manager of a Boystown bar said the real issue is a lack of cooperation from police officers after the parade is over.
“There were quite a few people on the street smashing their beer bottles, sitting on steps of residences; and the police, basically – from my perception – stood there and just allowed it to happen,” said Brenden Chrisman, general manager of Roscoe’s Tavern, which is located along the parade route in Boystown.
WBBM Newsradio’s Steve Miller reports, with this year’s Pride Parade setting a new attendance record of more than 1 million people, Tunney has said he’s open to moving the parade downtown to address concerns of Lakeview and Boystown residents about too much drinking and partying connected to the parade.
Chrisman said police have been responsive in the past when his bar needed them during the parade, but officers were not doing nearly enough in the hours after the parade this year. He said, after the parade ended, police essentially left the neighborhood to fend for itself at night, when a different group of people descended on the area, even though they weren’t there for the parade in the first place.
“They were acting more like crossing guards,” Chrisman said. “I feel, from a management standpoint, that our security staff was more engaged with the problems on the street than the police themselves.”
Chrisman said his security staff is not armed with firearms and stun guns or equipped with handcuffs like police officers are.
The Chicago Police Department did not immediately respond to requests for comment on how officers handled post-parade issues. However, police earlier said there were only eight arrests during the parade, including one man who damaged a squad car.
Tunney said if 44th Ward residents feel the Pride Parade has outgrown the neighborhood and has become a public safety issue for them, he’d consider a new route, including a possible move downtown.
The alderman said he’s not thinking about a temporary hiatus for the Pride Parade, similar to the two-year break the South Side Irish Parade took in 2010 and 2011 before returning as a more family-friendly event with tighter restrictions on drinking.