Should you seek my counsel as to the wisdom of making a non-business trip into the Second City, without any hesitation whatsoever, my advice would be, “Don’t do it!” Because if the red light cameras and bizarre parking regulations don’t get you, the flash mobs will.
If you truly harbor that variety of death wish, wouldn’t it be much simpler to attempt a Randall Road crossing on foot during rush hour?
My good friend and occasional radio co-host, Tim Elenz, provided the head’s up on a fascinating Channel 2 news story covering the Chicago Police Department’s new policy of treating roving bands of teenagers just like NATO protestors. They’ll simply shadow the “wilding” groups with officers and visible paddy wagons hoping their presence will provide the appropriate deterrent.
Good luck with that, because as Tim so eloquently pointed out, it’s one thing to deal with a slew of focused adult protestors and another thing entirely to have to face down 200 teenagers bent on domination and destruction.
CPD Superintendent Gerry McCarthy noted that, last weekend alone, there were five or six such groups of 100 to 200 teens roaming the downtown streets and beaches using racial slurs, damaging property and randomly knocking people down. Ah! To be young.
So the police did their best to tail them and minimize the havoc.
Tim also talked about the need for consequences and responsibility, but until these parents can legally be held accountable for their little darlings’ actions, Chicago taxpayers get to pay the CPD to essentially play glorified babysitter while the best they can hope for is containment.
Meanwhile, the real crooks are literally getting away with murder because all that manpower has be redirected to deal with this abject stupidity.
Beyond those basic costs, this wilding phenomenon, not nearly limited to Chicago, provides a real deterrent to any suburbanite who might want to spend a day and a few bucks on the lake or Magnificent Mile.
To wit, during his Sunday family outing to Oak Street Beach, Tim was shocked by the ever present groups of three and four officers patrolling the entire area. While that kind of security can certainly be reassuring, it also gives one pause when entertaining any notion of returning to the lakefront.
Tim told me he will seriously have to consider making any return trip and you already know my thoughts on the matter.
You could always give concealed carry a shot, but after you get the first three or four of ‘em you, you better have a really good backup plan for the other 96. You know, I’ve never been a fan of the CPD’s 1968 glory days, but maybe a brief return to cracking skulls as a first option might not be such a bad idea.
Update: Despite my general prohibition against anonymity, there is a blog called Second City Cop which proposes that, given the CPD Brass’s propensity for under-reporting crime data, they probably had to contend with 10 to 20 teenage mobs last weekend. In any event, the guy or gal behind it can write!