CHICAGO (CBS)– Fireworks aimed at police officers and crowds, police cruisers damaged, illegal guns toted around in backpacks: That is how a downtown alderman detailed the issues with massive crowds in the city this weekend.
“Sunday night was a disaster,” said Ald. Brian Hopkins. “We had massive chaos and mayhem downtown. We had guns in backpacks. Guns in pockets. A large number of firearms present.”
CBS 2 has reported on these mass crowds, and issues associated with them, for years, especially the past few months. Looking back on the chaos downtown on Sunday night, Chicago Police say they had it under control.
The largest crowds were reported around State Street. A few hundred people were seen running down the middle of the street and jumping on cars. Some were shooting fireworks near the officers on patrol.
Video posted on Twitter shows fireworks lit along Washington Street, west of the Wabash L stop.
Updated view of downtown Chicago. pic.twitter.com/y3Csz8Aw1Y
— armando l sanchez (@mandophotos) July 5, 2021
Chicago police formed defense lines at intersections to try and keep things under control.
Along Madison Street, crowds ran after somebody lit off more fireworks. In one video you see a woman twerking on top of an police SUV. (Credit: https://twitter.com/cpd1617scanner)
Chicago police said there were only a handful of altercations, resulting in minor injuries to two officers. (Credit: https://twitter.com/sportsdataguy)
Police Supt. David Brown said police officers made more than 60 arrests. But that’s not all.
“A disturbingly high number of those arrests involved a teenager with a gun,” said Hopkins. “We had guns in backpacks. Guns in pockets. A large number of firearms present.
“We are really lucky no one was murdered in the Loop last night.”
Police enacted a 10 p.m. curfew and reported they did not not have room for any more juvenile arrests.
Send them to area lockups for 72 hours https://t.co/EfmPZE1zX9
— Ald. Raymond Lopez (@RLopez15thWard) July 5, 2021
Alderman Raymond Lopez replied on Twitter saying, “Send them to area lockup for 72 hours.”
CPD wouldn’t say how many cruisers were damaged and have denied any details about their deployment plans for months.
The two officers injured responding to the crowds are OK.
Hopkins said the city’s response better than in the past, but “it wasn’t enough. They weren’t able to stop it, but they were able to contain it to some degree.”
Chicago police would not address our specific questions about their response, but released this statement:
Police responded to several large groups throughout the downtown area this evening, resulting in multiple arrests and at least two officers injured. The Chicago Police Department had sufficient resources deployed to manage the crowds and ensure public safety.