Teens riot in Chicago

Jacob Buhle, Staff Writer

A large crowd of teenagers met at 31st Street Beach, Chicago, after flyers of a meet-up spread around the internet. 

It was reported that over 100 teens gathered at the beach. Police were soon called after fights began to break out. 

The group scattered after a 14-year-old boy was shot at 9pm, disbanding the gathering. The police reported that the group lit a car on fire and damaged one of the squad cars. Only one person ended up being arrested that night: a 17-year-old who was charged with multiple gun felonies. 

All of this heightened tensions around Millennium Park, especially when another large group of teens gathered in the park. The teens were reported to be engaging in “reckless and disruptive behavior” and the night ended with nine adults and six minors being arrested. A 17- and 16-year-old were shot and brought to the hospital. 

Mayor Lori Lightfoot instituted a curfew for unaccompanied minors and stricter rules for the park. 

Mayor Lightfoot said, “As a city, we must ensure that our young people have safe spaces to congregate and that in those spaces they are peaceful and actually safe. I am calling on all parents, guardians and caring adults to step up at this moment and do whatever it takes to prevent a tragedy like this from happening again and to encourage appropriate behavior when our young people gather anywhere in this great city of ours.”

Mayor-elect Brandon Johnson condemned the violence but also advocated for forgiveness, “It is not constructive to demonize youth who have otherwise been starved of opportunities in their own communities.”