Demonization or Truth?: Mayor-Elect Warns Against Vilifying Violent Youth

(WGN News YouTube channel screenshot)

This past weekend, hundreds of teenagers overran the streets of downtown Chicago, vandalizing, attacking innocent bystanders and terrifying tourists with the sound of gunfire. The chaos ensued for two consecutive nights.

But major-elect Brandon Johnson warned against vilifying them, saying it wasn't constructive to "demonize" the young people who have "otherwise been starved opportunities in their own communities," Fox News Digital reported.

"In no way do I condone the destructive activity we law in the Loop and lakefront this weekend," Johnson, a progressive Democrat, says. "It is unacceptable and has no place in our city. ... Our city must work together to create spaces for youth to gather safely and responsibly, under adult guidance and supervision, to ensure that every part of our city remains welcome for both residents and visitors."

But will these youths gather safely and responsible in such a place, some of which shot two teenage males while they were simply standing in the crowd? Would they teens that smashed cars, blocked traffic and fought in the streets gather peacefully?

Both shooting victims were transported to a hospital and listed in fair condition.

Fox 32 in Chicago reported that the chaos appeared to be another "Teen Takeover" that was planned on social media. A similar one was planned on social media in Chicago last year.

Nine adults and six juveniles were arrested by Chicago police. Most of the arrests were made for reckless conduct, but one 16-year-old was charged with unlawful use of a weapon.

Current Major Lori Lightfoot condemned the "reckless and unlawful behavior" last weekend in Chicago, but said it's the parent's responsibility to step up and keep their children under control.

March CM Cover"As I have said before, we as a city cannot and will not allow any of our public spaces to become a platform for criminal conduct," Lightfoot said in a statement. "Most importantly, parents and guardians must know where their children are and be responsible for their actions. Instilling the important values of respect for people and property must begin at home."

Chicago's crime rate has escalated in recent years. Homicides hit a 25-year-high in 2021. Johnson has publicly stated his views on reallocating funds from the police department to other social services.

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Shawn A. Akers is the online editor at Charisma Media.

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